It’s almost time for our sixth annual Media Learning Seminar, where community and place-based foundations will gather to discuss how to create informed, engaged communities. This year, we’ll give them something new to consider – a case study of how foundations have been able to put together their community information projects.
Dubuque Community Foundation
Hawaii Community Foundation
"HIKI NO: Youth Journalism to Foster Digital Literacy and Build Diverse Community Stories"
New Jersey Community Foundation
"NJ Spotlight: Building Transparency and Improving State Policy Debates"
Why does this matter? Because making positive change in communities requires the free flow of quality news and information. If the news and information environment is in trouble, so is civic life. Foundations can only help improve education, public safety, the environment or anything else if people understand and are engaged in the issues. Through the Knight Community Information Challenge, more than 80 foundations have stepped up to invest in everything from local and state reporting to citizen dialogue and digital literacy, all to help their communities thrive. These projects have successes to show for it too - resulting in new funding for early childhood education, more environmental conservation and increased digital literacy among teens and seniors.
This new study - published today in partnership with FSG and Network Impact - provides a behind-the-scenes look at four foundations. We asked: Why are they working in media? How does that connect to their overall goals? How did they go about doing it? Has it mattered?
The four funders are:
Incourage Community Foundation, strengthening the civic health of a rural Wisconsin town through information;
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, using information to engage residents in conserving the environment.
You can find an in-depth look at each project in today’s report. Here are a few insights and examples of foundation practices that stood out for us:
Lessons on Design and Planning