On June 1, Malak Silmi will join Outlier Media as a city and county government reporter and Report for America corps member. She is one of 300 journalists in the 2022-23 cohort for Report for America, an organization that places journalists in newsrooms to help report on under-covered issues and communities.

Media Contact:
Erin Perry, Managing Editor, Outlier Media
erin@outliermedia.org, 313-343-1403

In a move to expand its reporting and to strengthen coverage of local government, Outlier Media is pleased to announce its newest hire — Malak Silmi — as a city and county government reporter. She will start June 1.

Silmi is one of more than 300 journalists in Report for America’s 2022-23 cohort, which will have corps members working in more than 200 local news organizations across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. Report for America is a national service program made possible by The GroundTruth Project. It places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Nearly half of this year’s cohort are journalists of color and nearly two-thirds are women.

“At Outlier, we’re working to measure success, not in terms of money raised, subscriptions or awards but by the health of our city and region,” said Candice Fortman, executive director of Outlier Media. “We are now one step closer to that goal. Thanks to Report for America we are adding a City Hall reporter to strengthen the incredible work of our Detroit Documenters network. Local government reporting is critical and has measurable democratic benefits.  Together, with a collaborative network of residents, local newsrooms and community partners, Outlier is committed to strengthening our community through our journalism, which also means diversifying who gets to produce journalism.”

Silmi, who was an active member of Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity before graduating with a dual degree in journalism and global studies in 2020, returns to Detroit after spending about a year at the San Antonio Express-News in Texas. There, she was a digital reporter, often writing three stories a day on trending topics as well as producing in-depth reporting pieces.

Previously, Silmi was the Arabic information needs reporter for Outlier Media, where she was an authority on the news organization’s text messaging system, using it to clearly identify information and accountability gaps to meet the needs of Detroiters using the service. Her expertise allowed Outlier to expand its services to Arabic-speaking communities.

In her new role as city and county government reporter, Silmi will work closely with the Detroit Documenters, reporting on programs intended to better serve the people of Detroit.

“Malak is an agile reporter,” said Sarah Alvarez, founder and editor-in-chief of Outlier Media. “We were grateful to have been able to work with her during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when she  stepped in to sleet Detroiters information needs using our text message system. We are thrilled to welcome her back to work with the Detroit Documenters to cover city and county government the way Detroiters want and need it to be covered.”

Silmi, who grew up in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, is grateful for the opportunity to return to Outlier Media as a full-time reporter through Report for America.

“I’m so blessed and grateful,” she said. “I’m beyond excited to report for a news organization that strengthened my love for journalism and to be able to serve the Metro Detroit communities.”

Reach Malak Silmi, Outlier Media’s city and county government reporter, at malak@outliermedia.org, starting June 1.


About Outlier Media
Founded in 2016 by Sarah Alvarez, Outlier Media is a Detroit-based journalism organization delivering actionable information and reporting Detroit residents can use to meet their challenges and achieve their goals. Outlier Media uses information needs assessments, resident engagement, investigative reporting and a text messaging service to bring a new kind of accountability to the Detroit journalism landscape.

About Report for America

Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities across all 50 states. By creating a new, sustainable model for journalism, Report for America provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and restore trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.