“#BlackCoopsMatter: Kevon Paynter of Bloc By Block News”
Published by elcesqllc, July 6, 2022
This interview is part of the #BlackCoopsMatter series. The purpose of the series is to build a knowledge base for organizing and building a Black cooperative movement.
Kevon Paynter is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Bloc by Block News, a media cooperative based in Maryland. Bloc By Block News, which is owned by newsreaders and news producers, provides uplifting local news and neighborhood voices. Kevon’s published articles for Yes! Magazine and the Solution Journalism Network, and attracted readers to stories that highlighted everyday people who became resilient and organized in the face of societal problems. View the full interview here.
“Who Tells the Untold Stories? In Maryland and D.C., Bloc By Block News Is Building Cooperative Local Media”
Published by Ownership Matters, May 17, 2022
Bloc By Block News is currently incorporated as a multi-stakeholder media cooperative in Washington, DC, led by people of color. Their mission is to bring to the surface the narratives and issues that no one else is talking about, making sure that real community struggles do not remain unnoticed. According to Christina Sturdivant, Editorial Director, their publications “focus on local people, places, and issues that are being underreported or not covered at all in the existing media landscape.” Read more here.
“Sharing Ownership Is Sharing Power: Why Media Cooperatives are the Future of News”
Published by Nonprofit Quarterly, February 16, 2022
The following is a transcript of our webinar on “Remaking the Economy: Information, the Media, and Economic Justice.” View the full webinar here.
Kevon Paynter: I’ve been working with legal clinics in universities. We’re working with American University, University of the District of Columbia, University of Baltimore, in their legal clinics to write the articles of incorporation, the bylaws. Coming up with our democratic decision-making process, which allocates a number—a certain percentage of ownership of the media company of Bloc by Block News, the media cooperative—a certain amount of ownership to the news readers and a certain amount of ownership to the publications. Read more here.
“Bloc by Block News – putting the power of media in the people’s hands”
Published by UK.Coop, April 7, 2021
Bloc by Block News reaches its audience via a mobile app that helps the people of Maryland, USA, to tap into what matters most in their communities. Its mission is to uplift local news and neighborhood voices. We spoke to Kevon Paynter, Bloc by Block News’ founder. He’s an entrepreneur and journalist who’s written articles for Yes! Magazine and the Solution Journalism Network.
What gave you the initial inspiration and confidence to start a platform co-op?
I started working on Bloc by Block News while pursuing my journalism master’s degree in 2017. I was taking an entrepreneurial journalism class and our final project was to pitch a business idea. I had this idea for reconnecting people to local news through a mobile app that connected them to many different news sources and published great journalism.
So in 2018, a year later, the idea kind of bubbled back up into my mind and I got an email from a friend who said if I had any ideas, to pitch them to the Voqal Media Fund. It was my first time pitching the idea to people outside of the classroom and I ended up winning $30,000 to get started. Read more here.
“Meet the Entrepreneur: Bloc by Block News”
Published by Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab blog, March 31, 2021
Bloc by Block News was founded by Kevon Paynter, who serves as executive director and answers the questions below.
What would you consider success for Bloc by Block News? How will the world be different when you are successful?
What we’re building is something greater than technology — it is a media cooperative and civic organization that connects residents to media rooted in their backyard. Our events bridge neighbor-to-neighbor connection across economic, racial and geographic divides. In three to five years, following our successful Bloc by Block News: Maryland pilot, we’ll start expansion, incubate media co-ops, and eventually reaching all 50 states. Each state would have its respective media co-op and a one-stop shop mobile app for local information. Read more here.
“Seven entrepreneurs share the moment that inspired their cooperative business”
Published by Start.coop, March 18, 2021
At Start.coop, we cultivate the next generation of cooperative start-ups with the potential for transformative impact at scale. In this post, the entrepreneurs behind the seven startups in this year’s accelerator share the inspiration behind their cooperatively-owned businesses.
Bloc by Block News is a media cooperative and civic engagement organization with a mobile app that helps Marylanders tap into what matters most in their communities. Kevon Paynter watched the television from his Howard University dorm room following the murder of Trayvon Martin and he was shocked by the lack of Black voices on air. While the news continued their live autopsy, the media’s influence in shaping public opinion became startlingly apparent. Read more here.
“A New Business Model Emerges: Meet the Digital News Coop”
Published by Nonprofit Quarterly, March 3, 2021
News co-ops are just emerging in the US, but long-established, reader-owned cooperative national newspapers in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Mexico show that people will support news co-ops that meet their needs. Newer news co-ops have taken root in Canada, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom. In the US, the Devil Strip is first out of the gate, but others are following. Read more here.
“Power Moves: These Baltimore tech firms are growing sales and biz dev teams to start 2021”
Published by Technical.ly, January 7, 2021
A December kickoff welcomed a new cohort of impact-focused ventures entering the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab… The program, which is open to ventures founded by members of the Johns Hopkins community as well as all Baltimore residents, received more than 60 applications this year. With programming virtual as 2021 gets underway, they’ll be meeting weekly and learning in areas customer discovery, finance, and marketing and communications. Read more here.
“Johns Hopkins unveils 20-21 Social Innovation Lab cohort”
Published by The Daily Record Maryland, December 18, 2020
In this year’s cohort, 90% of the ventures are led by entrepreneurs of color, with 80% led or co-led by female founders. This year’s teams are:
Bloc by Block News
Team: Kevon Paynter, Ptosha Davis and Christina Sturdivant. Bloc by Block News is a news media cooperative and civic-engagement organization helping people tap into what matters most locally. The co-op offers a one-stop mobile app for trustworthy information and news about Maryland towns, cities and neighborhoods. Read more here.