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Nonprofit media and exposing injustice: How philanthropy can help

From time to time, events at the highest levels of legal and political decision-making in Washington shed light on the importance of nonprofit media and the critical role of philanthropy in the support of journalism. Last week, the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Curtis Flowers for the brutal murder of four people […]

Podcasting for all

Podcasting is on the rise. Over 700,000 podcasts are available in iTunes with an estimated 90 million monthly listeners globally. No single entity controls podcasts, which means they are an accessible, decentralized, and democratized way to create content. Today, on-demand audio has dramatically transformed the way important stories and unheard voices reach us.

Listen up, grantmakers: Radio is a hot way to advance knowledge and culture

With the sharp rise of social media and the rapid collapse of so many daily newspapers in recent years, it would be easy to assume that radio is another traditional media format in decline. As more and more young listeners turn to music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, predictions of broadcast radio’s imminent demise […]

As press freedom declines, philanthropy must address the safety, security of journalists around the world

Media philanthropy is a growing force on the global stage, with foundation support increasing significantly in recent years, more than doubling from $915 million in 2009 to $1.9 billion in 2015, the last year for which complete figures were available. Altogether, media grants amounted to about $9.9 billion in that span, according to a new […]

Why U.S. foundations should care about global media funding trends

Parachuting in is out. That’s one key takeaway from a new report from Media Impact Funders that we’re excited to release this week: Global Media Philanthropy: What Funders Need to Know About Data, Trends and Pressing Issues Facing the Field. Produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this scan of global media philanthropy […]

Corporate and political power diminishes quality journalism in India

With nearly 400 television news channels, an expanding newspaper market driven by regional languages, and the second highest number of internet users in the world, journalism in India can appear vibrant and thriving. But amidst the din of breaking news alerts, voices of critique and quality independent journalism grow fainter in the face of aggressive […]

Philanthropy’s blind spot is investing in our sector’s media

“Even the best-designed communication strategy will fail if there is no public platform from which to amplify campaigns.” (Oak Foundation, 2017 annual review) Late last year, Alliance magazine devoted a whole issue to the growing involvement of philanthropy and the media. Almost all contributors agreed that more funding of media—from investigative journalism to new technologies […]

The old is new again: Public service media in the funding agenda

The most trusted news sources? The providers of children’s educational programming? The curators, funders, and distributors of national cultural products? The safeguards of minority voices? The answer: Public service broadcasters. The list may seem idealistic, but applies at least partly to many national and publicly funded media organizations.

For funders working inside of hostile nations, sometimes the only solution is to leave

When the board of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) decided in spring 2018 to close its operation in Hungary, many local activists and NGOs were outraged, asserting that the charity— endowed by philanthropist George Soros—should stay and fight the populist, immigrant-bashing government of prime minister Viktor Orban. OSF’s decision to leave was prompted by the […]