News from the Field

Media Impact Funders to strengthen support of local media with support from Knight Foundation

Philadelphia, PA—The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded Media Impact Funders (MIF)—a member-supported network of funders who support media in the public interest—a $200,000 grant to identify and expand the number of community foundations, place-based foundations and other funders interested in supporting local news and information.

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New MIF report highlights innovative approaches to journalism funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Nina Sachdev, communications director, Media Impact Funders nina@mediafunders.org or 215-574-1322

Media Impact Funders, in Collaboration with Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Publishes Report on Innovative Approaches to Journalism Funding 

PHILADELPHIA, PA (JUNE 20, 2018)—Media Impact Funders, a member-supported network of funders who seek to improve society through media and technology, has partnered with Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy to produce a case study report—Funding Journalism, Finding Innovation: Success Stories and Ideas for Creative, Sustainable Partnerships—that surfaces pioneering funding practices in journalism.

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Smithsonian Director Emeritus Brent Glass on science and democracy

Editor’s note: Last month, funders from across the country gathered at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia for our annual Media Impact Forum, a daylong symposium aimed at helping philanthropy focus on the role of science in our current political and social landscape. The day before, a smaller group of funders attended a special meeting to address the particular challenges associated with communicating science. Below is the full text of the remarks given by Brent Glass, director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the world’s largest museum devoted to telling the story of America.

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Notes from the 2018 Media Impact Forum

This year’s Media Impact Forum—”SC2: Science Comunications & The Science of Communications”—convened at the American Philosophical Society—the home of America’s oldest learned society—in Philadelphia. From its earliest days, the American republic has relied on scientific inquiry to propel our nation forward, in all facets of our life–in commerce, national defense, social policy and creative expression, among many other areas. The meeting helped philanthropy focus on the special role of science in our national debates, the importance of sharpening the communications of science, and broader issues about understanding how and when communications and storytelling make a difference.

Want to know more about what was said? We took pretty comprehensive notes for each session. Read them here.

Chasing Coral and Newtown among Peabody Award winners

This week, the Peabody Awards announced nine winners in the Documentary category, including Chasing Coral—the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning film that uses beautiful time-lapse imagery to document the world’s dying coral reefs—and Newtown—the gripping story of a community struggling to recover from the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. (You can view the full list of winners here.)

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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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