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Journalism Funders Convening 2022

Hosting Organization: 
Media Impact Funders
Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 9:00am to Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 5:00pm EDT
National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA
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We’ve come a long way since 2002, when a handful of journalism funders got together to compare notes about the most pressing issues facing journalism and how funders could address them. These days, our vibrant Journalism Funders Network represents more than 80 foundations of varying sizes and grantmaking priorities.

This October, journalism funders will convene at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to discuss the current state of local news and some of the most consequential collaborations, projects, and approaches that funders are supporting to strengthen information ecosystems across the United States and around the globe.

The two-day program will feature:

  • A special musical opening with pianist Michelle Cann, a champion of the music of classical composer Florence Price.
  • Nancy Gibbs, Director of the Shorenstein Center and Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Press, Politics, and Public Policy, will serve as our emcee for the first part of the day on Oct. 18 moderating discussions on the origin story of journalism funders in community and lessons learned along the way; an overview on the latest comprehensive research on the state of local news; and how the challenges facing the decline of local news are being addressed by investments in public media, venture philanthropy and more.
  • Irving Washington, outgoing CEO of ONA and member of the Board of Directors at the American Journalism Project, will share his perspective on efforts by philanthropy to build and sustain local news over the years.
  • Concurrent sessions on lessons learned from 20 years of journalism grantmaking, science and health misinformation, and more.
  • An update on the latest news from Steve Waldman about the Rebuild News Coalition, which advocates for public policies that sustain local news systems in communities.
  • Discussions about the shifting power balance in media philanthropy between funders and grantees and connections between journalism and democracy, moderated by Errin Haines, editor-at-large at The 19th.
  • Flash talks about a few consequential news verticals, including abortion, gun violence, and criminal justice, and how and why funders would support deep news verticals to maximize impact.
  • The Baltimore Banner, the online news startup financed by Stewart W. Bainum Jr., is taking on the challenge of filling information gaps in Baltimore, where the paper of record there—The Baltimore Sun—is now owned by hedge fund firm Alden Global Capitol. Banner Publisher and CEO Imtiaz Patel will talk about approaches to ensuring the startup's sustainability beyond Bainum's initial investment, and strategies to produce inclusive coverage, including a public media partnership with WYPR.

After two days of talks, discussions and plenaries, where do we go from here? Jim Brady, who joined Knight Foundation as Vice President of Journalism in 2021, will moderate our last session of the program, engaging funders in a discussion about using what we learned to formulate next steps.
Stay tuned for further announcements about speakers and content.

How to Register/RSVP: 

Learn more and register.

Please note: This is a funders-only conference.