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The 2020 Media Impact Forum — Earth to World: Cool It
A series of online discussions on philanthropy's role in amplifying media's efforts to address the world's most urgent crisis.
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The 2020 Media Impact Forum — Earth to World: Cool It

MIF is continuing the conversation around international media funding, a topic that is of growing interest to our members and supporters.

Because the topic sparked such vibrant conversations at our recent annual gathering of journalism funders, we devoted our January journalism funders webinar to discussing challenges and opportunities abroad.

Watch the webinar:

We heard from:

  • Alex Jakana, Program Officer of Global Media Partnerships at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who gave us the highlights from our small group discussions on international journalism at our annual Journalism Funders Gathering back in October.
  • Nishant Lalwani, Director of Investments of Independent Media at Luminate, who provided an overview of the International Fund for Public Interest Journalism.
  • Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, who shared an overview of the issues of gender and diversity in the international journalism space.
  • Liz Baker, Manager of Independent Journalism & Media at Humanity United, moderated the discussion.

Background: MIF & international media funding

Last year, we hosted a webinar focusing on the safety and security of journalists working internationally. As anti-democratic, anti-media rhetoric increases globally, funders supporting journalism work must understand and incorporate security issues into their grantmaking in order to advance essential reporting and protect journalists and journalism. This emerged as a major theme in our 2019 report Global Media Philanthropy: What Funders Need to Know About Data, Trends and Pressing Issues Facing the Field. Produced with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the report draws on media funding data from across the globe, as well as surveys, interviews and contributions from experts working in the field.

After the release of the report, we hosted another internationally focused webinar, which looked at the themes and highlights of a few big gatherings for the international journalism community, including the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy; the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, England; and the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ) in Austin, Texas.

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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.