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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. […]

Filmmaker John Singleton reflects on the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots

Twenty-five years ago, John Singleton was a bright young filmmaker at the top of his game. Bursting out of the University of Southern California screenwriting program, he wrote and directed Boys in the Hood, for which he picked up Academy Award nominations for best screenplay and best director.

Crossing the abyss

Grant Oliphant | President, The Heinz Endowments A common aphorism has it that “one man with courage is a majority.” Most of us instinctively don’t believe that. Most of us think one man standing athwart the tide makes for a powerful photo but a predictably tragic ending.

Foundations back film-and-activism campaigns to fight global warming

Editor’s note: Back in January, during a private gathering of documentary film funders at the Sundance Film Festival, we had the pleasure of hearing from filmmaker Jeff Orlowski, whose latest documentary Chasing Coral uses beautiful time-lapse imagery to document the world’s dying coral reefs. Orlowski shared details on his new film’s impact strategy, the importance of simplifying scientific data […]

Funding the First Amendment: The time for grantmaking is now

Editor’s note: Last month, we organized a call for journalism funders considering First Amendment support. The call was led by Eric Newton, Innovation Chief at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. We asked Newton—a journalist, historian, philanthropist and educator who has long championed free expression and freedom of information—to share […]

3 ways funders can stand up for the truth

It’s been a rough month for the truth in America. Disputes over “alternative facts” from the White House on crowd size and voter fraud have been coupled with attempts to muzzle government agencies accustomed to sharing their research with the public. Scientists are gearing up to march on Washington, and even The Onion’s satire about Sean Spicer’s […]

Silence

By Grant Oliphant | President, The Heinz Endowments Lately I have found myself stupefied into virtual silence. And I know, from speaking with many colleagues and many of you reading this, that I am not alone.