News from the Field

Foundations and media outlets can support a strong, independent press

Editor’s note: In early April, Vince Stehle, our executive director, moderated a panel discussion as part of the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s annual conference on how foundations and media outlets can work together to support a strong and independent press. Below is a transcript of journalist and media analyst Ellen Hume’s remarks at the panel.

By Ellen Hume | International Media Development Advisers

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Crossing the abyss

Grant Oliphant | President, The Heinz Endowments

A common aphorism has it that “one man with courage is a majority.” Most of us instinctively don’t believe that. Most of us think one man standing athwart the tide makes for a powerful photo but a predictably tragic ending.

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Foundations back film-and-activism campaigns to fight global warming

Editor’s note: Back in January, during a private gathering of documentary film funders at the Sundance Film Festival, we had the pleasure of hearing from filmmaker Jeff Orlowski, whose latest documentary Chasing Coral uses beautiful time-lapse imagery to document the world’s dying coral reefs. Orlowski shared details on his new film’s impact strategy, the importance of simplifying scientific data for the public, and more. During the meeting, Orlowski commented that the film was meant not for the hardcore climate skeptics but those who find themselves somewhere in the middle of the debate. And he added that it was important to consider who is delivering these messages of change: “If the messages came from the tree huggers, they aren’t as effective as when they come from the farmers, fishermen, and the non-tree huggers,” he said. We got to know the Sundance Discovery Impact fellow last year during an interview about his Emmy Award-winning Chasing Ice, which follows an acclaimed environmental photographer on a dangerous trek through the Arctic. Check out the Chasing Ice trailer, along with clips and excerpts from our discussion with Orlowski, here. Read more

Funding the First Amendment: The time for grantmaking is now

Editor’s note: Last month, we organized a call for journalism funders considering First Amendment support. The call was led by Eric Newton, Innovation Chief at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. We asked Newton—a journalist, historian, philanthropist and educator who has long championed free expression and freedom of information—to share his perspectives with our network.

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New guiding principles for funders of media

By Tim Isgitt | Managing director, Humanity United

I have a bias. I believe the service provided by responsible journalists is essential to keeping us all informed and engaged in our communities and the world around us. I am proud to play a role in supporting journalism. And in this time of immense social uncertainty, I believe the need for quality reporting, accurate storytelling and investigative journalism has never been greater.

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2017 Sundance Film Festival turns its lens on climate change, environment

Last week, as Donald J. Trump was being inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., festival-goers in Park City, Utah, were preparing for premieres, parties and protests at the Sundance Film Festival. The MIF staff, its board of directors and various colleagues were focusing on how to move forward with effective, engaging storytelling, especially as it pertains to the health of our planet.

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MIF Monthly newsletter: April 2017

Assessing Impact of Media (AIM) monthly newsletter: April 2017

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