News from the Field

How popular culture can elevate the public’s understanding of science

We know that science is at the center of contentious debate on a number of issues such as climate change and vaccine safety. But if The Big Bang Theory—America’s most popular sitcom about a group of lovable physicists—is a testament to anything, it’s that science is also a welcome and inescapable part of people’s lives. And funders who care about science and civic life want to make sure this positive trend continues. The question is: How do we continue reaching new and diverse audiences with science content that sparks curiosity and learning?

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Updated Journalism and Media Grantmaking guide offers insights for funders new to the field

Over the past year, we’ve seen a notable uptick in interest among funders about the role they can play in supporting news and community information. To meet this need, we are pleased to share a newly updated version of Journalism and Media Grantmaking: Five Things You Need to Know and Five Ways to Get Started, produced with support from the Wyncote Foundation.

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The Stanley Foundation examines nuclear risk in a changing media ecosystem

Editor’s note: in November 2017, MIF hosted a discussion about the film Command and Control, which gives viewers a chilling glimpse into America’s nuclear weapons program. It chronicles a deadly accident at a missile site in 1980, and poses the question: What if the weapons built to protect us threaten to destroy us? It marks the latest discussion in our Documenting Impact series, which offer funders and media makers a chance to go behind the scenes on the making of these important projects and the strategies that helped broaden their impact. Watch the recording. Meanwhile, Devon Terrill of the Stanley Foundation reached out to us about her organization’s work on understanding the connection between social media and nuclear risk. Here, she frames the issues at play.

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A primer on net neutrality from the Benton Foundation

Update as of Dec. 14, 2017—The FCC voted 3-2 today to repeal net neutrality regulations intended to keep the internet open and fair. “It is not going to destroy the internet,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, responding to the groundswell of support from the public and internet businesses for net neutrality. “It is not going to end the internet as we know it. It is not going to kill democracy. It is not going to stifle free expression online.” Read more

Sexual harassment in the workplace: What funders should know

Editor’s note: Much like Hollywood and the entertainment and media industries, the culture of sexual harassment at Silicon Valley tech companies is no longer a shameful open secret. Over the last few months, several high-profile men in tech have resigned or been fired over allegations of sexual harassment.

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