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 in the housing and utilities markets. 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, 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.

Candice is the co-founder of Ladies Who Pizza, a social club for women who love pizza. In 2015 she founded Galentine’s Day Detroit a brunch and fundraiser that celebrates the power of female friendships while supporting organizations that enhance the lives of women and girls.

In her free time, she can be found tweeting about Detroit and pop culture (@cande313) and occasionally dusting off her yoga mat. If you’re interested in helping Outlier decrease information gaps and increase accountability in your community reach out to candice@outliermedia.org.

Sarah Alvarez, Founder and Executive 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.

Joey Horan, 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.

Malak Silmi, Reporter

Malak Silmi is a recent graduate from Wayne State University where she completed two bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and international studies. Throughout her college career, Silmi was a member of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity and has held the position of News Editor at The South End newspaper, as well as video editor for the MetroArts Detroit television program. She completed internships with the Detroit Metro Times, Michigan Radio, the New York Times Journalism Institute and freelanced with other publications. She lives in Dearborn Heights, enjoys outdoor activities and trying new restaurants. 

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 the crew at Michigan Radio; in particular Tamar Charney, Sarah Hulett, Vince Duffy, Jennifer Guerra, Dustin Dwyer, and Brittany Bartkoviak.