Local Foundations Need Solid Local Journalism if They Hope to Advance Their Missions

Wichita Beacon reporters Stefania Lugli and Rafael Garcia engage in story planning.

THE CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY — November 16, 2021 — First the good news: Philanthropy is starting to respond to the demise of local journalism with the urgency it deserves. In the past few years, major national efforts, such as the American Journalism Project, Report for America, and NewsMatch have generated well over $200 million in philanthropic giving to news organizations across the United States. NewsMatch’s annual gift-matching campaign, which kicked off November 1, raised a record $47 million in individual donations in 2020 alone.

Some local foundations are also stepping up, recognizing that the projects they support in areas such as health, hunger, the environment, and the economy need local journalism to succeed. New data from Media Impact Funders shows that community foundations made $1.1 billion in media grants since 2009, out of a total of $19.6 billion from all U.S. foundations.

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