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June 2022

Revisit the 2022 Media Impact Forum: Stories for Justice

The 2022 Media Impact Forum showcased a wide range of philanthropic approaches to supporting storytelling as a powerful lever in the fight for equal justice. Experience the rich diversity of content with recaps of the day's discussions, which included media showcases, expert funder dialogue, impact case studies, and much more. Also check out our 2022 Media Impact Forum photo album, which captures the excitement and energy of our network!
Watch the 2022 Media Impact Forum


J-Funders 2022: The annual gathering of journalism funders

Oct. 18-19 | Philadelphia, PA | National Constitution Center

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. We hope you’ll join us on Oct. 18-19 to celebrate and reflect on the last 20 years of journalism funders in community, and to co-design the future of journalism. Save the date by registering now, and we’ll be in touch soon with more details on the agenda, speakers, hotel accommodations, and more. We look forward to seeing you all in person. 

Audience: Funders who currently support or are interesting in supporting journalism.
Learn more and register now

WATCH: Listen, Learn, Connect: Cultural Organizations and Digital Strategy in the COVID-19 Era

Media Impact Funders and Grantmakers in the Arts hosted a panel discussion celebrating the release of a new report commissioned by the Wyncote Foundation that explores pandemic-era shifts to digital programming among arts and cultural organizations. The report, "Listen, Learn, Connect," looks at how arts and cultural organizations responded to COVID-19 lockdowns by foregrounding mission, emphasizing learning, experimenting with art forms and processes online, understanding audience habits, and facing the long-term challenges of digital work. As the cultural sector continues to confront hybrid programming demands and ongoing pandemic-related uncertainties, this discussion offers practical steps and recommended approaches. Watch the discussion.

MIF new members alert

We're thrilled to welcome Catapult Film FundReport for America and Outrider Foundation as members. See our full member list.

Member spotlight: Perspective Fund

Few funders are supporting the documentary impact ecosystem as robustly as Perspective Fund. A member of Media Impact Funders since 2016, Perspective—in addition to supporting powerhouse social change documentaries such as “Writing with Fire,” “Crip Camp” and “Coded Bias”— offers general operating support and infrastructure grants geared toward building and sustaining the field. In 2020, soon after COVID-19 forced widespread lockdowns, which all but eliminated film releases and disrupted their impact campaigns, Perspective implemented an emergency relief fund for struggling impact producers facing economic uncertainty. MIF Communications Director Nina Sachdev recently spoke with Denae Peters, a former impact practitioner who oversees Perspective Fund’s infrastructure program, about the organization’s work two years into the pandemic, opportunities and concerns in the impact ecosystem, and its Our Democracy portfolio. Read the member spotlight.

Are you reporting your media grants data?

Our media grants data map, Foundation Maps for Media Funding, tracks the field of philanthropically supported media from 2009-present. MIF has used this data to produce research on the growing field of journalism funding, topic-specific media funding, and more to highlight trends, opportunities and gaps in funding. The research we produce depends on timely and accurate data reporting from you, the grantmakers. Our friends at Candid, which created our media grants data map, have created a handy guide outlining the steps to report your data, and why it's important for grantmakers to do so. Learn more and report your data.

MIF members connect, collaborate, share resources, build knowledge, and ultimately make more strategic media investments.

  • ONA, ComNet, IDA, Double Exposure, J-Funders. It's going to be a busy fall with all these conferences exploring journalism, documentary film, communications, and more. It almost feels like pre-COVID times. Here's a look at what's happening in media philanthropy.
  • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the decline of local news outlets, increasing the number of news deserts around the country. Penelope Muse Abernathy, the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, has released a new report looking at the state of local news in the United States. The report "measures what has been lost, while also assessing what must be done if we are to nurture and revive a vibrant news landscape in the third decade of the 21st century." Among the findings: More than 200 of the nation's 3,143 counties and equivalents have no newspaper and no alternative source of credible and comprehensive information on critical issues. Read the report.
  • "The Territory"—a National Geographic film that engaged Amazon’s Indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people a communities affected by climate change and stolen land in the media making process—will be released in select theaters on Aug. 19, with a nationwide rollout to follow. MIF featured "The Territory" at the 2022 Media Impact Forum, where we heard from the filmmaking team about the importance of elevating Indigenous stories Elevate Indigenous voices, protect Indigenous land, advance legislation & reduce consumption of products fueling deforestation.
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation is looking for a Communications Officer who will lead the foundation's communications and media outreach efforts. Learn more.
  • The Frameworks Institute has released the Culture Change Project, an initiative to track how and whether Americans' mindsets have changed as a result of the social upheaval of the past two years. This research can help funders and the media makers they support in understanding how people are thinking about democracy, racism, and other complex social issues. Learn more.
  • Arnold Ventures recently published a piece about the impact nonprofit news reporting can have on lawmaking. One example cited was reporting by the Carolina Public Press to shed light on the extreme lack of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE nurses) who help sexual assault victims in the aftermath of an attack. The reporting led to the addition of $30 million in federal funding to boost training and access to SANE nurses. Read more. (And shoutout to Arnold Ventures for citing MIF data.)
  • Looking for a few good docs? Check out the documentary winners from the 82nd Annual Peabody Awards. Among the honorees: "Philly D.A.," which we've written about here, and "Summer of Soul," one of our faves. Learn more.
  • The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news outlet whose coverage focuses on criminal justice, has launched its first local news operation in Cleveland. The newsroom is funded by the American Journalism Project, the George Gund Foundation, and others. Learn more.

Want your new grant, project, partnership, collaboration or news item included in our next newsletter? Let us know!
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