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Lessons from citizen journalism—the promise of citizen philanthropy

More than a decade ago, a set of smart technologists predicted that social change would spring directly from the crowd, rather than managed by formal organizations controlling what gets done and by whom. How right they were. Today, technology is giving people access to systems and institutions that allow them to connect, communicate, and engage […]

Funding media freedom and digital rights: Taking a demand-driven approach to facilitate coordination and collaboration

Over the past decade, the challenges facing media funders have expanded at an alarming pace. It has now become hackneyed to note the vast changes wrought by the rapid global proliferation of the internet and communication technologies: from the crisis of disinformation and misinformation to decreased readership of traditional news providers to the Orwellian-seeming surveillance […]

Coalition-building as an approach to media development

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last two decades of international development, it’s that politics matter, yet this lesson has not been fully assimilated into the media assistance sector. In governance, health, education, and nearly every other area, there is a growing recognition that durable solutions to the world’s problems need to get […]

Pulitzer Center support for regional reporting in Africa

The Pulitzer Center’s primary mission since its founding in 2006 has been to raise awareness of underreported global issues, with a focus on reaching U.S. news audiences through American media outlets and leveraging that in-depth reporting to teach students in K-12 schools and universities. As a nonprofit run by accomplished journalists, we award grants based […]

I have nothing against philanthropy

Not to be misunderstood: It is wonderful if an ailing media house that has missed out on the challenges of digitalization and changing consumer-habits is saved from bankruptcy. It is beautiful if an online-only start-up, like the Premium Times in Nigeria, gets funding from Bill Gates, George Soros and others. But how long can media […]

It’s time to rethink philanthropy journalism in East Africa

If we consider that journalism is about freely exchanging information based on news, views or ideas, then the context within which journalism is practised matters. In East Africa, this context is challenging. Intimidation and harassment of journalists is rife. Critical media outlets are being shut down on flimsy grounds and others starved of government advertisement. […]

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 […]