The nonprofit news sector is having a really great year: Two beloved hometown newspapers on the brink of collapse were saved by a new nonprofit in January. Pulitzers were awarded for exceptional reporting in April. A new watchdog-focused outlet joined the fold this month. And this week, two sizable grants from two foundations known for their commitment to and preservation of journalism and media were announced.

The MacArthur Foundation will make nearly $25 million in unrestricted, five-year general operating grants to a select group of outlets, including NPR, Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting, that focus on accountability and explanatory reporting. At a time when the ethics of grantmaking is under more scrutiny, unrestricted grants preserve the independence of journalists and their organizations.
MacArthur President Julia Stasch announced the grants at PBS’ annual conference in Chicago:

Even Twitter was happy:

Also this week, the Knight Foundation, in conjunction with Columbia University, announced a $60 million effort to preserve and expand First Amendment rights in the digital age. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University will focus on research, education and supporting litigation in favor of protecting freedom of expression and the press.
The announcement comes on the heels of a recent Knight poll that revealed what many newsroom editors really think of pursuing of legal cases around free speech: that the news industry is less able to do so today than it was 10 years ago, and that too many questions about the digital age remain unanswered.
“It’s not broadcast,” Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen told Poynter. “It’s not print. It’s not individual speech. It’s the internet. And it’s not something that we only use for speech, it’s something we use for just about everything.”

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.