Launching Today: Knight Foundation Empowering Non-Profit Journalism With $1.5 Million Matching Funds

Jennifer Preston, VP, Journalism, The Knight Foundation

We live in a world where the first thought about a piece of news needs to be: what is the source? With so much fake news and misinformation out there, the Knight Foundation is amping up its support of high quality community-driven media with new funding.

Jennifer Preston, Vice President of Journalism at the Knight Foundation spoke to Philanthropy Women this morning, the day of the launching of this new funding initiative.

She said most of those organizations receiving matching funds from this new initiative are Knight Foundation grantees from over the past three years. “Amid all of the concerns about fake news, supporting nonprofit journalism is a great way to address those concerns. Battle Fake news with smart news,” said Preston.

Preston talked about one of the grantees receiving matching funds called Philadelphia Public School Notebook, an independent reader-supported project that is important to parents and the education community at large in Philadelphia.

“The organizations receiving matching funds are news organizations serving local communities as well as those larger organizations like Pro Publica and the Marshall Project,” said Preston.

“The project launched this morning and is already getting traction on social media,” said Preston. She said the Knight Foundation is already getting emails from grantees and members of the community “that would put a smile on any funder’s face.” She said some of the non-profit outlets are already reporting getting thousand dollar donations today.

“We are hoping that the $1.5 million will provide incentive for non-profit news to expand their donor base and build that community that we know is important for journalism’s survival.”

“We are concerned about the historic low level of trust in the news media,” said Preston, and emphasized the importance for all journalists to focus on rebuilding that trust in the coming months and years. “That means engaging more directly with the community, using social media to listen more than broadcast content, and it means really involving the community in the news-gathering process.”

From the Knight Foundation’s press release:

Amid concerns about fake news, the decline of print media and the rise of unreliable sources of information, the Knight Foundation is launching its Knight News Match to provide $1.5 million in matching grants to nonprofit news organizations. The initiative will support individuals who are eager to contribute to a vibrant press using the proven success of matching campaigns. This is in keeping with the Foundation’s long-standing tradition of supporting high-quality journalism.

From December 19 through January 19, individuals can donate to help one or more of 59 nonprofit news organizations that will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 in matching funding. This includes prominent national organizations, local outlets that have long-served their communities, and others whose coverage will be crucial after this election season, such as:

The Center for Public Integrity, one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations, and winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize;

Inside Climate News, a Pulitzer Prize-winning, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering climate change, energy and the environment;

Michigan Radio, part of the NPR digital network and the state’s most listened-to public radio service.

Needless to say, this is just the kind of news we are very excited about here at Philanthropy Women. The need to support quality journalism has never been greater.

More information about how to donate and a list of the organizations receiving support is available here. Use hashtag #newsmatch to follow developments of the initiative online.

Kiersten Marek

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work in Cranston, Rhode Island, and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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