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
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.
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.
Up in the lofty reaches of theory, the case for the impact of news is clear: Reporters report facts in good faith, and audiences consume these stories and deliberate with others who might not share their perspectives. In the process, they’re better informed to act in their role as citizens, and a better democracy results. Down here in the trenches of 2016, though, the impact story is much messier.
In his eighth and final speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama called on world leaders to embrace the idea of open society as the only way for nations to prosper. “Entrepreneurs need to access information in order to invent; young people need a global education in order to thrive; independent media needs to check the abuses of power,” he said.
This post originally appeared on the Ford Foundation’s Equals Change blog on Sept. 21, 2016.
Not everyone knows the name Sir Tim Berners-Lee, but they certainly know his invention: the World Wide Web. And if being responsible for one of the most important innovations in human history wasn’t enough, early on Berners-Lee made the generous and vital decision to give it away for free.
By Jon Stahl, communications director, Philanthropy Northwest
In the past few days, we’ve hosted a pair of events with our friends at Media Impact Funders, the national network of grantmakers working on media and technology issues. In different ways, both touched on the power of communications — both medium and message — to drive forward the social change issues that animate philanthropy. Read more