About Outlier

Outlier Media is a Detroit-based service journalism organization. We identify, report, and deliver valuable information to empower residents to hold landlords, municipal government and elected officials accountable for longstanding problems. By keeping residents first, we hope to give more than we take, and leave people with the information they need to create change in their own communities. 

Candice Fortman (she/her), Executive Director

Candice Fortman has turned her love for all things media into a career focused on diversifying newsrooms and journalistic organizations to reach beyond traditional news audiences.

Before joining Outlier Media, Candice was the Marketing & Engagement Manager for WDET 101.9-Detroit’s NPR station. Candice led the effort to build WDET’s audience and grow the station’s digital communities and content by engaging listeners around news, music, and culture.

Prior to joining WDET Candice served as Promotions Manager at Clear Channel Radio (now iHeart Media) where she led promotional and engagement strategy for three radio stations inside the Detroit cluster for more than five years. In 2018 she was selected for Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.

Currently, Candice serves as the board president of the Grandmont Community Association. She is a board member of The Village of Bethany Manor-a senior living community and a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Classical Roots Steering Committee.

If you’re interested in helping Outlier decrease information gaps and increase accountability in your community reach out to candice@outliermedia.org.

Sarah Alvarez (she/her), Founder and Editor

Sarah started her career in civil rights law in New York, but is much happier as a journalist than she ever was as a lawyer. Before founding Outlier Media, she worked as a senior producer and reporter at Michigan Radio, the statewide NPR affiliate.

In that role, she covered issues important to low-income families, child welfare and disability. Her work has been featured on NPR, MarketplaceThe Center for Investigative ReportingBridge Magazine, The Detroit News, and The New York Times. Sarah believes journalism is a service and should be responsive to the needs of all people.

She developed Outlier’s model after years of trying to figure out how journalists could do a better job filling information gaps and increasing accountability to low-income news consumers. She launched Outlier in 2016, during her year as John S. Knight (JSK) Fellow at Stanford University. She lives in northwest Detroit. To get in touch with Sarah, please contact her at sarah@outliermedia.org or 313-643-5508.

Jimmy Gutierrez (he/him), Director of Audience

Jimmy has had many past lives and couldn’t be more excited to be on the ground in Detroit doing engagement work. He was previously filling information gaps in low-wealth neighborhoods in his home city of Milwaukee. That’s where he led and coordinated efforts between two nonprofit newsrooms to reach residents during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. That effort, News414, was built on the Outlier model.

Jimmy was recognized for his work as a 2020 John S. Knight Community Impact Fellow at Stanford University. Before that he was a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio where the work he contributed to won multiple awards including a Regional Murrow, an Overseas Press Club Award. He was recognized as an Artist in Residence at Ragdale. Before making radio he was a firefighter in Milwaukee. He has training and experience in hosting live events, facilitating community dialogue and producing oral history projects. You can catch him on a court playing ball or near water when the sun is shining. Reach him at jimmy@outliermedia.org.

Joey Horan (he/him), Reporter

Joey began his reporting career as a freelancer in Toledo, Ohio. He then worked on Michigan Radio’s daily show, Stateside, where he got connected to Outlier Media. With Outlier, Joey has reported on water access and affordability in Detroit, utility pricing in southeast Michigan, and Michigan’s criminal justice system. Prior to working as a journalist, Joey worked in education and legal aid. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Tips and questions at joey@outliermedia.org.

Miriam Marini (she/her), Reporter

Miriam is a breaking news reporter at the Detroit Free Press where she covers a wide range of topics. She graduated from Wayne State University in May 2020 with a degree in journalism and was a member of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. She has worked with the Detroit Metro Times, WDIV-TV 4, Metro Parent Magazine, and Newsday in Long Island, New York. When she’s not handcuffed to her laptop, Miriam can be found rollerskating through the streets of Dearborn where she lives with her family and beloved cat, Pop Pop. Tips and questions at miriam@outliermedia.org or mmarini@gannett.com

Our community – public service minded journalists

Most importantly, we work to serve and learn alongside our news consumers in Detroit.

Our work would not be possible without the help, support, and brainpower of public service-minded journalists like those at City Bureau, Hearken, Free Press, Project Facet, Flint Beat, Tyler Loop, VT Digger, Spaceship Media and so many more!

Outlier Media is a fiscally by MuckRock. We are grateful for the generous grant support from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, News Integrity Initiative, Democracy Fund, The Facebook Journalism Project, the Dodge Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This project was initially supported by a pilot grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Outlier owes a particular debt of gratitude to the JSK Fellowship at Stanford University, Kimberly Springer, James Hamilton, Dawn Garcia, Jim Bettinger, Aaron Glantz, Andrew Haeg, Jennifer Brandel, and former colleagues at Michigan Radio; in particular Tamar Charney, Sarah Hulett, Vince Duffy, Jennifer Guerra, Dustin Dwyer, and Brittany Bartkoviak.