Journalism needs financial support now more than ever, and philanthropy is stepping up to revive quality journalism and reconfigure the news media ecosystem around the world.

Recently, Media Impact Funders invited scholars, grantmakers and other practitioners to a webinar organized around two recent reports that shed light on the field of philanthropic support for journalism.

Funding the News: Foundations and Nonprofit Media categorizes tens of thousands of journalism and media-related grants totaling $1.8 billion between 2010 and 2015 made all over the world. Interviews with nonprofit journalists, experts, and funders inform an analysis of trends in philanthropic support for journalism. This working paper was a collaboration between Northeastern University’s School of Journalism and Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

The second report, Funding Journalism, Finding Innovation: Success Stories and Ideas for Creative, Sustainable Partnerships  surfaces pioneering funding practices in journalism through case studies of four different funder-publisher collaboratives. The study was a joint project of the Shorenstein Center and Media Impact Funders.

Watch the webinar here and use the time stamps below to follow along in the recording:

The webinar featured:

  • Nicco Mele (3:50), director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, provided an overview of the center’s goals.
  • John Wihbey (5:20), assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University, joined Nicco in describing the study’s methods and summarizing its major findings.
  • John and Nicco (11:50) answered webinar participants’ question about trends in the data and other relevant research that illuminates those trends.
  • Kathy Im (28:00), director of journalism and media at the MacArthur Foundation, shared her foundation’s approach to funding journalism as part of a larger commitment to civic media. She also presented her reasons for advocating unrestricted support for nonprofit newsrooms.
  • Nathalie Applewhite (39:40), managing director at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, explained the center’s model for promoting original reporting on underreported issues, its recent work and the impact it’s had. MacArthur’s pioneering unrestricted, five-year grant to the Pulitzer Center, which is featured as one of the case studies in our report, Funding Journalism, Finding Innovation. Nathalie stressed the ways unrestricted support makes possible editorial independence and rapid response to emerging opportunities.
  • Indira Lakshmanan (51:00), Executive Editor at the Pulitzer Center reflected on her experience at the Boston Globe and at Poynter and presented specific projects the Pulitzer Center supported, connecting global issues to local communities through multimedia reporting partnerships.
About the Author
Vincent Stehle

Vincent Stehle

Executive Director

Before joining Media Impact Funders in 2011 as executive director, Vince was program director for Nonprofit Sector Support at the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City. Prior to joining Surdna, Stehle worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he covered a broad range of issues about the nonprofit sector. Stehle has served as chairperson of Philanthropy New York and on the governing boards of VolunteerMatch, the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and the Center for Effective Philanthropy.