In a world where traditional journalism is finding it increasingly hard to compete with the fast-paced—and often “fake news”—blossoming across social media and digital platforms, local news outlets are faced with dwindling audiences and advertisers. Yet a robust media that can produce original, rigorous reporting, and help spur dialogue and debate on complex problems, are necessary to a healthy democracy in local communities. How can funders support quality journalism, especially in smaller communities considered “media deserts”?
Join us for the webinar Solutions Journalism: How Investing in Media Can Drive Positive Community Change, Sept. 20, 2017, at 11 a.m. MT/ 1 p.m. ET.
This webinar, organized by TFN’s Intermountain West Funders’ Network and open to all funders, explores what is being done to support and preserve the type of journalism that illuminates complex issues and invigorates civic engagement.
We’ll learn about:
- How the LOR Foundation identified blind spots for newsrooms in the rural Intermountain West and the steps the Foundation took to address these challenges.
- Small Towns, Big Change, an award winning project created by the Solutions Journalism Network and supported by the LOR Foundation. The project supported the work of seven news organizations in Colorado and New Mexico—including High Country News—as they explored urgent questions facing the long-term health of the region’s small towns, such as creating robust economies, protecting natural resources, and improving education and quality of life.
- The Democracy Fund’s efforts to support media models that serve the needs and preferences of communities today, while ensuring that people have effective ways to understand and be a part of the democratic process.
- News Match 2017: A $2 million pledge by the Democracy Fund and Knight Foundation to kick off a matching-grants campaign to support nonprofit journalism, with an additional $750,000 committed to help nonprofit organizations build the capability and capacity they need to put them on the path of sustainability.
- How foundations across the country are investing in innovative outlets, tools, and models that support journalism essential to civic engagement, including breaking news, investigative and watchdog journalism.
- The most viable journalism models and partnerships to widely cultivate the most promising practices, especially in communities considered “media deserts.”
- What leaders in philanthropy see as the path forward for philanthropic investments in this arena.
Moderator: LaMonte Guillory, Chief Communications Officer, LOR Foundation: LaMonte joined the LOR Foundation in 2014 with the mission of creating, developing and guiding the Foundations strategic communications initiatives. He brings 15 years of public relations, corporate communications and social media experience to the foundation. LOR partners with rural communities in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming with a focus on improving livability and quality of life through community-driven solutions.
Keith Hammonds, Chief Executive Officer, Solutions Journalism Network: Keith comes to the Solutions Journalism Network from Ashoka, where he started and led the News & Knowledge Initiative, advancing the work of hundreds of social entrepreneurs in media around the world. SJN supports and connects journalists interested in doing solutions journalism, rigorous reporting about how people are responding to problems.
Kate Schimel, High Country News: Kate is a Colorado native and a lifelong High Country News reader. High Country News is a nonprofit 501(c)3 independent media organization that covers the important issues and stories that define the American West. Its mission is to inform and inspire people – through in-depth journalism – to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities. Kate is the deputy editor, digital at the Paonia headquarters.
Josh Stearns, Associate Director of Public Square, Democracy Fund: Josh is the Associate Director of the Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Focusing on a vibrant media and the public square, Josh leads the Public Square Program in its mission to invest in innovations and institutions that help people understand and participate in the democratic process.
Please register for this call by Friday, September 15 to be sure you receive the webinar details. The registration form will provide an opportunity to submit questions that you would like the speakers to address, which we will share with speakers in advance of the call.