Independent Journalism continues to be the oxygen of public awareness and perhaps American freedom itself. The clear divide between for profit marketing and no wholes bared truth publishing continues to provide two important venues for America’s economic life and political life. But how well is nonprofit journalism today and how will it fare in the near future? Perhaps the answer lies in the future of philanthropy itself. If philanthropy takes a more conservative or “neutral” turn, indecent journalism could be at risk. The following is a PEW foundation study on the state of nonprofit journalism ….
Philanthropy may continue to be a significant part of the future of nonprofit journalism.
Pew Research Center data show that in spite of calls to diversify revenue streams, foundation revenue has continued to be vital to the existence of many nonprofit news organizations. About three-quarters of the 93 outlets surveyed in late 2012 receive foundation funding, which in most cases accounts for more than half of an outlet’s total revenue. And new Knight Foundation data on a smaller cohort of outlets suggest that while reliance on foundations is shrinking for some outlets, it is still the most important revenue stream.
While participants in the roundtable conversation emphasized the continued need to diversify revenue streams, institutions such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are not planning on ending their commitments tomorrow, and some funders and news providers said a level of philanthropic support will be necessary over a long period of time. They also indicated, however, that philanthropic giving would be tied to the nonprofit outlets’ ability to innovate.
Some foundations are willing to make long-term commitments
Some representatives of the philanthropic community clearly indicated that they are willing to consider long-term funding of nonprofit news organizations. Elspeth Revere, vice president of media, culture and special initiatives at the MacArthur Foundation, noted that her institution has supported some news organizations for 20-25 years. Daniel Green, deputy director of strategic partnerships for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said it is conceivable his foundation would do the same.