America’s Knight Foundation has announced it will support the growth of local news support networks and diverse publishers with US$9 million over three years.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation says it is “recommitting its investment” in local news support networks that are helping hundreds of publishers work toward stronger financial sustainability. Knight is announcing continuing support of more than US$9 million over three years for the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, and the Center for Community Media at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.
“The investment aligns with Knight’s strategy to support informed communities through high-quality, equitable and sustainable local journalism,” it says. “It also addresses Knight’s goals of boosting the power of scalable networks in local news and building local journalism’s infrastructure to help pave the road to long-term business success.”
Journalism director Karen Rundlet says these are networks of independent local news providers, outlets that are family owned or run by community-minded journalism entrepreneurs. “These organisations inform local audiences, black, immigrant, and rural communities.
“Knight’s funding will support programmes to make their businesses stronger so they have a real shot at longevity.”
The Institute for Nonprofit News gets US$4.75 million to provide training on fundraising and revenue solutions while building journalism collaboratives and recruiting and retaining more ethnic leaders. Its network has more than 400 nonprofit newsroom members, with 65 per cent of new members focussing on local news.
Local Independent Online News Publishers receives US$2.85 million to fund more than 100 Sustainability Audits, a comprehensive process for LION members to identify and respond constructively to roadblocks to sustainability within their organisations. LION Publishers supports more than 425 independent news publishers, for-profit and nonprofit, across the US and Canada, and runs programmes that offer online courses, coaching, peer learning and funding.
ecoRI News, a Rhode Island publisher focused on environmental issues, used data from its sustainability audit to apply for funding to support more outreach to Latino community members.
Center for Community Media at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York gets US$2.01 million to expand its programs for ethnic publishers, including an initiative in New York that led to the city spending millions of dollars in advertising with ethnic and community media.
The grants complement Knight’s $300 million, five-year commitment to new, scalable initiatives.
Pictured: John S. and James L. Knight – pictured at the former home of the Miami Herald – established the Knight Foundation in 1950