News from the Field

Watch our webinar on how funders can reinvigorate the public square

America’s public square—the institutions, networks, and spaces where Americans engage in the critical issues facing our democracy—is facing a paradigm shift. A combination of economic impacts, advances in technology, and social change are re-shaping how we access and engage with the information that connects us to civic life.

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Watch our webinar on news deserts and learn what funders can do to keep local news alive

Last week, we hosted a webinar highlighting promising solutions to the problem of news deserts. Nearly every day, we’re reminded that local news in the United States is dwindling. Since 2004, about 20 percent of all metro and community newspapers in the United States—approximately 1,800—have gone out of business or merged. Hundreds more have drastically cut back local coverage. All told, about 1,300 U.S. communities have totally lost local news coverage as a result.

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Facebook’s bare-knuckle tactics are just one sign of a media culture that philanthropy can help fix

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

So proclaims the fictional Howard Beale in the 1976 film classic Network. And now Beale’s mantra will ring out nightly in an electrifying new stage production featuring Bryan Cranston that opens on Broadway this week. When the film first appeared, it revealed a dystopian world where commercial media companies would harness rage for profit. And now the theatrical adaptation serves to remind us how we got here, to an age when commercial media companies harness rage for profit.

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Funders, there’s still plenty of time to join NewsMatch

Early reports suggest that NewsMatch, a funder collaboration to promote individual giving to journalism and capacity-building at nonprofit news organizations, is on track to break last year’s record of nearly $5 million raised. As of this Tuesday, organizers say the number of individual small-dollar donations on NewsMatch.org has tripled compared to last year’s campaign.

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Synagogue shootings remind us why nonprofits should push for tolerance

First lady Melania Trump proclaimed recently that she is “the most bullied person in the world.”

Statistically speaking, that seems unlikely. But if she is feeling bullied, she’s not alone.

A new report from the YouthTruth Student Survey reveals that 33 percent of secondary-school students experienced bullying in the 2017-18 school year, a significant rise from the 28 percent of students who reported the same in 2015-16. YouthTruth, a project of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, carries out survey research to provide student feedback to improve educational outcomes.

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We are the cure

Grant Oliphant | President, The Heinz Endowments

Early in Fiddler on the Roof, the character Tevye asks God, “Send us the cure. We’ve got the sick-ness already.” On Saturday both sickness and cure came home to my neighborhood of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh.

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How philanthropy nurtured the female stars of this election season

Many political pundits believe that the effort to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could create a backlash among women voters that will sweep in a wave of female candidates, much like the Clarence Thomas confirmation battle is thought to have led to the “year of the woman” in the 1992 election.

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MIF announces 3 new members to its board of directors

Media Impact Funders is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to our board of directors: Kaitlin Yarnall, senior vice president of Media Innovation at the National Geographic Society; and Tim Isgitt, managing director of Humanity United; and Carmen Lee, communications officer with The Heinz Endowments.

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