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How evaluation perpetuates inequity (and how to stop it)

As protests for racial justice continue in cities across the U.S., more and more institutions are publicly reckoning with their own roles in perpetuating systemic racism. In the journalism space, a debate about the concept of objectivity is raging: whose view is considered “objective”? Do “both sides” of an issue always demand equal weight? Some […]

Success beyond scale: Evaluating outcomes that funders really care about

“Scale”—too often this is the bane of a grantee’s or evaluator’s existence when it comes to assessing the social impact of media projects. Why are funders so stuck on this concept, and what other impact models might matter more? As we’ve been reviewing materials we’ve gathered on media impact over the past several years, these […]

MIF identifies new learning priorities after yearlong strategic planning process

As part of a new strategic direction informed by a yearlong review of our organization, we’ve been tasked with outlining learning priorities for the year and beyond. We have identified the following priorities: Making the case for media funding Assessing the impact of media funding Understanding the importance of evidence-based science communications activities Presenting/identifying funding […]

6 impact tools for every type of funder and media maker

Here at Media Impact Funders, we’ve been researching best practices in measuring media impact since 2013. In addition to curating impact-related tools, producing original analyses on impact trends, and publishing a monthly impact newsletter, we also convene funders to discuss impact, and conduct research on how funders are thinking about and assessing impact in the […]

10 tips for practicing lean impact in a time of rapid change

While the media and tech landscapes are changing rapidly—requiring nimble and adaptive business practices and new models—the larger social sector funding landscape can be stuck in model for a previous age, planning out discrete interventions and then collecting metrics to examine how many people were touched by them. And media funders—despite often being at the […]

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 […]

Here’s how to use our updated impact assessment tools

As you may have noticed, a few weeks ago we completely overhauled our website in an effort to better serve the rapidly changing fields of media and philanthropy. (Here’s an overview of what you can now find.) And with our shiny new website comes shiny new impact assessment resources, which we’re eager to showcase.

WATCH: Webinar explores how global media philanthropy can address journalists’ security

Philanthropy plays a crucial role in supporting media that improves democratic processes. The exercise of free expression and the financial support that make it possible are especially needed in places that lack press freedom protections. Around the globe, media funders have been keeping an eye on troubling global trends and potential threats to democracy, journalism […]

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 […]

A primer on net neutrality from the Benton Foundation

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 […]

Total eclipse of the news: What happens when the president dominates the media cycle?

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.

MIF/Hewlett Foundation webinars explore how funders can fight misinformation

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 […]