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Things we don’t talk about (but should): An open letter to media funders

Next week, several hundred people from national, community, and place-based foundations, as well as newsrooms and other nonprofits, will come together at the Knight Media Forum in Miami. The conference focuses on philanthropy’s role in strengthening local news and information, which is essential for healthy communities and a vibrant democracy. We believe there’s an important conversation missing […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. The sickness came, as the entire country now knows and will too […]

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. Coming just […]

Science, like the media, seeks to reset relations with the public

Editor’s note: Last week, 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 […]

A deep dive on misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and democracy with the Hewlett Foundation

By Kelly Born | Program Officer, Madison Initiative, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Democracy and the Internet may not be as compatible as many had hoped. The “fake news” allegations of 2016 re-focused attention on longer-standing concerns about echo chambers, filter bubbles, declining journalistic revenue models and a range of issues in the online information […]

Philanthropy, media and the value of evidence: A conversation with MIF Executive Director Vince Stehle and Rita Allen Foundation President Elizabeth Christopherson

By Elizabeth Christopherson | President & CEO, Rita Allen Foundation A conversation with Vince Stehle of Media Impact Funders about the role of philanthropy in a changing media landscape. Vince Stehle began his career in philanthropy as a reporter for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and later helped to develop new programs at foundations seeking to […]

Foundations and media outlets can support a strong, independent press

Editor’s note: In early April, Vince Stehle, our executive director, moderated a panel discussion as part of the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s annual conference on how foundations and media outlets can work together to support a strong and independent press. Below is a transcript of journalist and media analyst Ellen Hume’s remarks at the panel. […]