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 grow the network of journalism and media funders with events and network-building opportunities.

Disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election and other critical public interest issues have laid bare the urgent need for more philanthropic support of high-quality journalism, especially at the local level. With its history of convening journalism funders and catalyzing their collaboration and innovation, MIF is uniquely positioned to grow and strengthen this critical network of funders. The network has grown from a handful of journalism funders comparing notes in 2001 to more than 100 funders who meet regularly throughout the year to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing journalism today.

MIF will continue this work by recruiting community foundations, place-based foundations and family foundations and facilitating funder-only meetings throughout the year about local journalism opportunities, as well as foster the exchange of ideas and best practices.

This new grant builds on the strong relationship between MIF and Knight Foundation; in 2018, MIF received a $200,000 grant from Knight to advance the work of journalism funders, specifically strengthening support of local media, through a series of programs and research.

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Media Impact Funders

Media Impact Funders

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Media Impact Funders traces its roots back to the Council on Foundations, a longtime philanthropy-serving organization. Formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television, MIF began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. Reflecting changes in technology and media behavior over the past decade, it was renamed Grantmakers in Film & Electronic Media (GFEM) and formally incorporated in 2008 to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It had 45 members and was headed by former MacArthur Foundation Program Officer Alyce Myatt. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range media funding interests such as journalism, immersive technologies, media policy and more. Since that time, MIF has grown to more than 80 organizational members representing some of the largest foundations, and holds more than 40 in-person and online events yearly.