Journalism and Media Grantmaking

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5 Things You Need to Know; 5 Ways to Get Started
Publication Date
Communities, Journalism, Media Innovation

How can funders get started both thinking about and actually investing in news and information projects?

A new publication by Michele McLellan and Eric Newton - and published by William Penn Foundation and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation - offers tips. The primer, described here, is now available for download.

This booklet is a quick primer for foundations interested in making media, journalism or community-information grants. Aimed at foundations with little or no experience in this field, it is based on the experiences of the leaders of dozens of foundations that have funded local news and information projects. Many of us started out somewhat perplexed by the constantly shifting digital media landscape. Now, our experience and projects can provide inspiration and know-how (plus a few cautions) to help you start on news and information grant making.

Five things you need to know:

  1. This is everyone’s issue
  2. Map your community’s news ecosystem
  3. You can build on what you’re already doing
  4. Run a contest to find new voices
  5. You can start without a lot of money 

Five ways to get started:

  1. Grow your own digital expertise
  2. Good journalism requires independence
  3. Partner with an existing news organization
  4. Digital media must be targeted to produce impact
  5. Help create a public interest news organization

About our Communities focus area

We invest in civic innovators who help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement.

About our Field research methodology

Field research is primary and secondary research done for Knight Foundation.