New Research Spotlight
Philanthropy’s growing role in American journalism: A new study reveals increased funding and ethical considerations
A new study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago in partnership with Media Impact Funders and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism that examines the role of philanthropy in American journalism found strong growth in support for nonprofit news over the past five years, an increase in funding to for-profit newsrooms, and a growing focus on communities of color.
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Philanthropy’s growing role in American journalism: A new study reveals increased funding and ethical considerations

As funding for nonprofit journalism increases, how do we go from plans to action? How do we make the case for journalism funding to funders who think they can’t make media grants because of how their portfolios are structured, or who don’t know enough about the field to make impactful grants? How do we create on-ramps into the work of local journalism ecosystem building? 

If you’re a funder and have one or more of these questions, this webinar is a great place to start. There is a lot of experience in the field of journalism funding, and we are eager to share that knowledge to as wide an audience as possible.

We heard from:

  • LaMonte Guillory, Chief Communications Officer of the LOR Foundation, talked about how and why LOR partnered with the Solutions Journalism Network to bring local, solutions-oriented news to communities throughout the Intermountain West. People in rural areas have distrust of the local media, Guillory said. “People were fatigued with the reporting they were consuming.”
  • Tyler Tokarczyk, Program Officer of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and Inasmuch Foundation, talked about his experiences with encouraging fellow funders to support Oklahoma Watch through the lens of a national journalism foundation and a place-based foundation. “We brought partners on as early as possible to build in long-term sustainability,” Tokarczyk said.
  • Molly de Aguiar, President of the Independence Public Media Foundation and MIF board member, gave us an overview of the tools and resources funders new to this space should become familiar with. de Aguiar really stressed the importance of media’s role in changing people’s lives for the better. “Whatever your first issue is,” she said, “your second issue should be media.”
  • Courtney Eshleman, Director of Development & Member Engagement at Media Impact Funders, gave a brief overview of NewsMatch, the matching-gift campaign to increase support for nonprofit news, and explained how foundations of all sizes can get involved in the turnkey platform.
  • Norris West, Director of Strategic Communications at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and MIF board member,  moderated the discussion.

Watch the webinar:

As part of our work with the Journalism Funders Network, we host webinars throughout the year to help funders find common points of entry to make their work effective and efficient through strategic partnerships. All funders can—and are encouraged to—participate in these calls even if they are not a part of the Journalism Funders Network. Learn more.

About the Author
Nina Sachdev

Nina Sachdev

Director of Communications

Nina Sachdev brings more than 20 years of journalism, news editing and marketing experience to her role as a communications director for Media Impact Funders (MIF). Nina served as MIF’s communications director for more than five years before joining the Rita Allen Foundation to lead communications there. After a brief stint, Nina re-joined MIF in February 2022. Nina cut her teeth in journalism at The Dallas Morning News, where—as an intern on the copy desk—she was tasked with editing the obituaries of famous people who hadn’t yet died. Since then, Nina has worked at The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, The Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Weekly in almost every editorial capacity imaginable, including senior editor, A1 editor (when that used to be a thing) and slot (does anyone remember that being a thing?). Nina is the creator and editor of the award-winning The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse, which exposes the reality of healing from the effects of sexual abuse. Nina holds an M.A. in journalism from Temple University. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.