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 to address the particular challenges associated with communicating science. Below, consultant Louise Lief offers a comprehensive recap of the days’ events. The piece originally appeared on the Knight Foundation’s Trust, Media & Democracy blog on Medium.
By Jessica Clark and Nina Sachdev | Media Impact Funders
What can be said about President Trump that hasn’t already been said?
With an overwhelming amount of news media coverage devoted to his every comment—whether on Twitter or IRL—it’s hard to even imagine waking up to a headline that’s not about him.
And for the last year, we barely have.
How central are social and search platforms in spreading propaganda and misinformation—and what can be done to improve the quality of online information? To explore these questions, Kelly Born of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation hosted the second in a series of webinars about how funders can help fight “fake news.” (Read the recap of the first webinar here.)
Last month, Media Impact Funders, in collaboration with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Rita Allen Foundation, presented a webinar on The Public Face of Science, a new multi-year project to explore the intersection of science and civic life, and advance our understanding of the public’s view on science. The webinar offered funders a preview of soon-to-be published research and the opportunity to hear from two advisors to the project, Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Arthur (Skip) Lupia of the University of Michigan.
Update as of Dec. 19, 2017—We have completed our webinar series. Read up on the various ways in which funders are fighting misinformation on the three points of the information system: production, distribution and consumption.
By Kelly Born | Program officer for the Madison Initiative at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
“Fake news” continues to spread like wildfire across the western world, and American philanthropy is at the forefront of the battle to address it. From the recent prototype fund sponsored by the Knight and Rita Allen Foundations and the Democracy Fund, to the Gates, Ford, and Knight Foundations’ collaboration with Democracy Fund in support of CUNY’s News Integrity Initiative, to Craig Newmark and others’ investment in Poynter’s fact-checking initiative, many in philanthropy are seeking to help mitigate the effects of disinformation and propaganda.