The power of community was on full display last week at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where MIF hosted JFunders22, the annual gathering of journalism funders. This network, which has not gathered in person since 2019, celebrated 20 years of journalism funders in community and connection. At the start of our two-day gathering, attendees were able to hear about the early years of this network, including the challenges and how they’ve evolved.

Throughout this conference, funders who are supporting and leading some of the most important work in journalism today were able to dig deeper into funding strategies and questions, and were able to experience talks and discussions about what’s working, how and why it works, and how we can do more.

Below, you’ll find recordings of each session in chronological order so that you can watch any portion of the day.

Special Musical Performance Featuring Michelle Cann

In conversation with:

  • Michelle Cann, Pianist
  • Bill Johnson, General Manager, WRTI

Overview and Objectives for JFunders22

  • David Rousseau, Vice President, Media and Technology, Kaiser Family Foundation; Media Impact Funders Board Chair

20 Years of Journalism Funders in Community and Connection

We’ve come a long way since 2002, when a handful of journalism funders got together to compare notes (we found actual notes from the early days, below!) about the most pressing issues facing journalism and how funders could address them. Explore this network’s origin story—where it started, what was happening in the field of journalism funding 20 years ago, what the network is now, and what it hopes to accomplish in the future.

Twenty years ago in Miami, a small group of funders including Eric Newton and Jon Funabiki gathered to discuss potential next steps for journalism funders.

In conversation with:

  • Jon Funabiki, Founder and former director, Renaissance Journalism
  • Eric Newton, Writer and Media Consultant
  • Vince Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders
  • Moderated by Nancy Gibbs, Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

The Local News Landscape, Explained

America’s local news landscape has been shaped by massive technological and economic shifts over the last two decades, and understanding what’s working and where the gaps and opportunities exist will help us support more impactful solutions. In this session, Nancy Gibbs, Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, offers a sweeping overview of the current local news landscape, providing important context for the discussions that follow.

  • Nancy Gibbs, Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Replanting Local News: A Few Significant Initiatives

Several initiatives of note are making progress against the challenges of local news. Take a listen.

In conversation with:

  • Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, Post-doctoral fellow; lead researcher of the News Sustainability and Business Models project; CEO and Co-Founder, National Trust for Local News
  • Imtiaz Patel, CEO, The Baltimore Banner
  • Irving Washington, CEO, Online News Association; Vice Chair, American Journalism Project
  • Moderated by Nancy Gibbs, Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Spotlight on Science & Health Mis/Disinformation

Internist, infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist Céline Gounder, an editor at Kaiser Health News, shares details about Kaiser Health News’ strategies to address health misinformation and disinformation.

  • Céline Gounder, Senior Fellow and Editor-at-Large for Public Health, Kaiser Health News

A Brief Update on the Latest Efforts to Obtain Public Funding for Journalism

Here are the latest developments on federal and state government efforts to help local news.

  • Steve Waldman, President & Co-Founder and Founder and Chair of Rebuild Local News Coalition Report for America

A Few Words on Word in Black

Founded in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Word in Black is a new digital national newsroom powered by a collaboration of the nation’s leading Black publishers. Here are details about Word in Black’s mission to confront inequities, elevate solutions, and amplify the Black experience.

  • Andrew Ramsammy, Chief Content and Collaboration Officer, Local Media Association; Lead, Word in Black

The Nuts & Bolts of Media Grantmaking

Making sense of our media grants: A case study from the William Penn Foundation

  • Shawn McCaney, Executive Director, William Penn Foundation

Is landscape research right for you?

  • Allison Taylor Levine, Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Delaware Community Foundation

Best practices for supporting journalism with an equity lens

  • Lea Trusty, Senior Associate, Public Square, Democracy Fund

Establishing New Power Dynamics in Nonprofit News and Philanthropy

This session—moderated by The 19th’s Editor-at-Large Errin Haines—explores how funders can approach their relationships with nonprofit news organizations to achieve long-term sustainability. We’ll hear a few compelling approaches from media organizations whose trust-based relationships with funders have produced successful outcomes.

In conversation with:

  • Tracy Baim, President and Co-Publisher/Lead, The Chicago Reader and Chicago Independent Media Alliance
  • Angelica Das, Associate Director, Public Square Program, Democracy Fund
  • Tracie Powell, Founder, The Pivot Fund
  • Moderated by Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large, The 19th News

Journalism as a Driver for Civic Engagement

This session highlights two new collaborative initiatives working to elevate civic engagement and dialogue on the local level. Last year, Hearken launched the Democracy SOS program to serve 20 newsrooms investing in long-term change to their civic reporting. And the Lenfest Institute for Journalism recently launched a comprehensive effort in Philadelphia to catalyze broad community engagement ahead of the city’s 2023 mayoral election. The 19th’s Editor-at-Large Errin Haines moderates.

In conversation with:

  • Tim Lambert, Special Projects Editor, WITF Radio Station
  • Shawn Mooring, Program Director, The Lenfest Institute
  • Moderated by Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large, The 19th News

Musical Performance Featuring Anthony Tidd and Sanity With Spoken Word Artist Ursula Rucker

In conversation with:

  • Nate Chinen, Editorial Director, WRTI
  • Anthony Tidd, Composer, producer, audio engineer, educator and musician

A Lesson from the Dean

  • Jelani Cobb, Dean, Columbia Journalism School; Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism

Unpacking the Abortion Narrative with Rewire and “Battleground”

This session moderated by MIF Communications Director Nina Sachdev takes a deep look at how media—and the funders who support it—tells the story of abortion, a polarizing topic that’s only gotten more controversial since the repeal of Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court ruling that protected a woman’s right to choose for nearly 50 years.

In conversation with:

  • Galina Espinoza, President & Editor in Chief, Rewire News Group
  • Steffie van Rhee, Documentary Filmmaker & Co-Producer, “Battleground”
  • Moderated by Nina Sachdev, Communications Director, Media Impact Funders

Spotlight on Science Journalism

What’s the relationship between science and democracy? Here’s a short talk on the importance of supporting science journalism to keep citizens informed on issues that are central to our shared civic infrastructure

  • Maya Ajmera, President and CEO & Publisher, Society for Science & Science News

Journalism in and with Community

Media organizations such as Documented, Love Now Media, and Black Voice News are transforming relationships with communities. Moderated by WHYY News Director Sarah Glover, this session explores how we can reimagine the future of journalism.

In conversation with:

  • Paulette Brown-Hinds, Publisher, Black Voice News
  • Jos Duncan Asé, Founder, Executive Producer & Publisher, Love Now Media
  • Mazin Sidahmed, Co-Executive Director, Documented
  • Moderated by Sarah Glover, Vice President, News and Civic Dialogue, WHYY

An Eye Toward the Future

After two days of talks, discussions and plenaries, where do we go from here? How does everything we know and learned inform how we adapt and change for the future? Jim Brady, VP/Journalism at Knight Foundation, leads this closing discussion with a group of key leaders from the field.

In conversation with:

  • Alicia Bell, Director, Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, Borealis Philanthropy
  • Sue Cross, Executive Director & CEO, INN
  • Jon Funabiki, Founder and Former Director, Renaissance Journalism
  • Chris Krewson, Executive Director, LION Publishers
  • Erin Moran, CEO, Public Media Company
  • Moderated by Jim Brady, VP/Journalism, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Closing Remarks

  • Kayce Ataiyero, Chief External Affairs Officer, Joyce Foundation
About the Author
Nina Sachdev

Nina Sachdev

Director of Communications

Nina Sachdev brings more than 20 years of journalism, news editing and marketing experience to her role as a communications director for Media Impact Funders (MIF). Since joining MIF in 2016, Nina has been leading efforts to showcase the power of media, journalism and storytelling to the philanthropic community. Through strategic communications, member engagement strategies and high-profile speaking events, Nina works to educate and inspire funders to make more strategic decisions about their media funding. Nina brings with her from her journalism days a special focus on sexual assault and reproductive health, and is a tireless advocate for the importance of quality, impactful media and journalism around these topics.
Nina cut her teeth in journalism at The Dallas Morning News, where—as an intern on the copy desk—she was tasked with editing the obituaries of famous people who hadn’t yet died. Since then, Nina has worked at The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, The Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Weekly in almost every editorial capacity imaginable, including senior editor, A1 editor (when that used to be a thing) and slot (does anyone remember that being a thing?).
Nina is the creator and editor of the award-winning The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse, which exposes the reality of healing from the effects of sexual abuse. Nina holds an M.A. in journalism from Temple University. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.