About the Black Lens

The Black Lens Editor Natasha Hill speaks to the crowd gathered at the relaunch party for The Black Lens newspaper Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at The Steam Plant.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The Black Lens is a nonprofit news organization funded through foundations, major donors, subscribers, sponsors and the community it serves. After going on hiatus for two years, The Black Lens began publishing again in February of 2024.

Based in Spokane, WA., The Black Lens is focused on the news, events, people, issues and information of importance to our region’s Black community. The stories, photos, graphics and columns created by The Black Lens are owned by the community it serves, and can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license.

The Black Lens newspaper is published daily online and monthly in print by “comma,” a nonprofit community journalism lab. For information on comma, or to make a donation, please contact Innovia at (509) 624-2606 or visit our donation page

Statement of Independence

The Black Lens is a not-for-profit, independent newspaper that focuses on all aspects of the Black community in Eastern Washington. The Black Lens editor reports to its own board of directors, which was set up under the guidance of the founders’ family.

As journalism calls for increased transparency, The Black Lens believes in being transparent about its work. The Black Lens is funded through foundations, donors, subscribers and the community. That funding pays for the work of the editors, reporters, photographers, designers, correspondents and columnists who produce The Black Lens newspaper, website and other platforms.

The Black Lens retains full authority over its editorial content. This organization maintains a strict firewall between news coverage decisions and funding sources and in-kind help. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

All story decisions made by The Black Lens newsroom and its leaders are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. This organization does not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content, and if a supporter is covered in a story or other editorial content, The Black Lens will disclose this at the bottom of the story.

The Black Lens is a partner of the “comma” community journalism lab.

The Black Lens will be located within the community journalism lab newsroom that is set to be stationed on the main campus of Gonzaga University in Spokane. Though The Black Lens’ newsroom may be housed at Gonzaga, the university has no control or authority over the journalism created by The Black Lens or the other news organizations located within the lab. The “comma” community journalism lab is a nonprofit news organization with its own board of directors, separate from the university and separate from The Black Lens. The Black Lens’ board of directors works closely with the comma community journalism lab and its leaders to ensure that journalism’s protected First Amendment rights continue to be an essential part of our nation’s democracy.

Though much of the content created by The Black Lens may appear in regional publications, newspapers or news websites, those organizations have no rights, authority or influence over the content created by this publication. The Black Lens’ publications are only responsible to boards of directors for The Black Lens and the comma community journalism lab. Though other publications, including The Spokesman-Review, may assist in distribution, The Black Lens is not a publication of any of its third- party distribution partners.