The 2024 Media Impact Forum served as an important reminder that storytelling is the bridge we desperately need to foster understanding in a fractured world. Journalists and creators are on the front lines, crafting narratives that transcend cultural and regional boundaries. Their work is essential for promoting empathy and a more informed future. The Forum highlighted the crucial role of funders in supporting these efforts.

Below, you’ll find recordings of each session in chronological order so that you can watch any portion of the day. Also, check out our 2024 Media Impact Forum photo album, which captures the excitement and energy of our network.

Journey into the Future of Journalism with the Voices of Next-Gen Innovators

  • Jin Ding, Alumna of the Executive Program in News Innovation & Leadership, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY; CEO, Initium Media
  • Lotoya Francis, Graduate student, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
  • Lawrence Ukenye, 2023 graduate of Temple University’s undergraduate journalism program; Labor & Employment Reporter, Politico
  • Kai Wright, Host & Managing Editor, “Notes from America with Kai Wright” (moderator)

Fuel Your Optimism with David Byrne’s Reasons to be Cheerful

  • David Boardman, Dean of the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University
  • David Byrne, Founder, Reasons to be Cheerful

Beyond the Headlines: The Power of Localized Criminal Justice Reporting

  • Carroll Bogert, President, The Marshall Project
  • Tony Richardson, President, The George Gund Foundation
  • Liz Simons, Board Chair of The Heising-Simons Foundation and The Marshall Project
  • Kai Wright, Host & Managing Editor, “Notes from America with Kai Wright” (moderator)

Confronting Lincoln Center’s Past with Stanley Nelson’s Latest Film, “San Juan Hill: Manhattan’s Lost Neighborhood”

  • Stanley Nelson, Filmmaker, Co-Founder and Lead Mentor, Firelight Media
  • Chi-hui Yang, Director, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation (moderator)

Empowering Change: Unveiling the Secrets of “New Power” with Lincoln Center President and CEO Henry Timms

  • Hilary Pennington, Executive Vice President for Program, Ford Foundation
  • Henry Timms, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Center

The Climate Catalyst: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on Sparking Climate Action through Media Philanthropy

  • Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Co-founder, Urban Ocean Lab
  • Kaitlin Yarnall, Chief Storytelling Officer, National Geographic Society

Documenting Silence: Capturing the Legacy of Japanese American Incarceration and Intergenerational Healing

Through evocative portraits and heartfelt testimonies, documentary photographer Haruka Sakaguchi explores the enduring impact of the incarceration of Japanese Americans in remote camps across the US during World War II, with a focus on the intergenerational trauma passed down through generations. Through Sakaguchi’s lens, we witness the healing potential of bearing witness to untold histories, offering a window into the human spirit’s capacity to endure and overcome.

Musical Interlude Featuring Silkroad

Imagine a world in which music transcends borders, weaving a tapestry of cultures instead of division. This was the vision of Yo-Yo Ma when he created the Silkroad Ensemble in 1998. Inspired by the ancient Silk Road trade route, Ma assembled a unique group of musicians, each from a different region along this historic pathway. Their mission: to create a new musical language—forged from a beautiful blend of traditions and innovation—as a model for cultural collaboration. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Silkroad creates music that engages difference, sparking radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning for a more hopeful and inclusive world.

Leap of Faith: Bridging Divides Through Shared Values

  • Nicholas Ma, Director, “Leap of Faith”
  • Kristen Cambell, Executive Director, PACE (moderator)
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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.