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The MIF Newsletter

April 2020
A lot of people are talking about what a new normal will look like in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever we do moving forward, our decisions need to be centered around protecting our planet and its natural resources. This is a wake-up call. It invites us to understand more deeply that we have to align our actions and policies to reflect the imperatives of the natural world. Media can illuminate that relationship and the need to protect the environment.

That being said, Media Impact Funders would like to invite you to the ultimate funder meet-up:

The 2020 Media Impact Forum

With the health and safety of our network in mind, we have decided to revise our plans for our upcoming Media Impact Forum. We are converting what would normally have been our daylong funder gathering into six online discussions, which will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in June:
 

June 9 & 11
June 16 & 18
June 23 & 25

1-2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesdays & Thursdays

1 hour of presentations followed by 30 minutes
of open-mic discussion
 

We're still working on locking in some of our speakers, but we're thrilled to share details about our first session on June 9:

Date: Tuesday, June 9 | 1-2:30 p.m. ET
Session: Climate Now! 
Speakers:

  • Jane Fonda, Academy-Award winning actress, producer, author and activist
  • Amy Goodman, journalist and co-host of Democracy Now!
  • Alex Jakana, former BBC journalist and current program officer of Global Media Partnerships at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Founder and CEO, Ocean Collectiv & Founder, Urban Ocean Lab

In this session, we'll hear about climate activism, philanthropy's role in supporting climate media, and global threats to civil society. Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! will interview marine biologist, policy expert and strategist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson about her work to protect the oceans and efforts to help communities to find climate change solutions. We'll then hear from Academy Award and Emmy-winning actress and activist Jane Fonda about her perspective on the importance of media in climate activism. Goodman will then take the role of interviewee in a dialogue with Alex Jakana, former BBC journalist and current program officer of Global Media Partnerships at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Wallace Global Fund. Our speakers will discuss the growing threat of extractive industries in bolstering the rise of authoritarian regimes, even as they degrade the environment.

Agenda + registration
Wednesday, May 27 | Noon-1 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 origin story:
A case study for understanding the need for evidence-based communications

This webinar—a prequel to the Media Impact Forum—will explore media's role in understanding the link between global health threats and the environment.
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our society, changing every aspect of our lives. Hundreds of thousands of people have died. Economies around the world have collapsed, forcing many into unemployment and untenable situations.

In addition to discussions about what our collective future looks like, there's another question whose answer will provide critical information about how we conduct our daily lives in the future: Where did COVID-19 come from? As its origin remains the subject of scientific debate, we as a society must confront our own behavior and its devastating effects on the environment. We must ask ourselves what environmental actions can we take to ensure we don't unleash another virus? 

In this webinar, we will examine:
  • Possible causes of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The role of media in amplifying the problem
  • The importance of media framing in changing hearts and minds,
  • An example of one funder's solution to the problem
See speakers + registration
Please note: This is a funder-only webinar.

Our in-person and online events gather leaders
to advance knowledge about issues that are critical

to the public interest.

See our events calendar
TRACKING MEDIA IMPACT

How does this make you feel? How emotions compel us to act—or not

Now more than ever, we are experiencing a range of emotions based on the media we encounter. Sometimes, these emotions lead us to take action—for better or for worse. We've been studying media impact for many years; we know the need for cold, hard data is real. Funders need to know exactly what is changing on the ground in order to make reasoned funding decisions. But how people feel is extremely important—and difficult to disentangle from how they behave. Emotions are what prompt people to take the actions that inspire wider change.
Read more

MIF news ...

  • Journalism funders around the country and the world are responding to the COVID-19 crisis with a variety of funding initiatives aimed at sustaining critical public interest information needs. MIF is tracking these funding resources and will continue updating the list as more resources become available. See the list of COVID-19 funding resources.
     
  • MIF Executive Vince Stehle says the cultural content presented at our 2019 Media Impact Forum on the theme of Radio Active Culture resonates deeply in our time of confinement. Read more.
     
  • How can election coverage be more reflective and inclusive of the communities it's trying to inform? Last week, we hosted a webinar with Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) to discuss how funders can support newsrooms' coverage of the election during times of crisis. Watch the webinar.

News from the field ...

  • This week, Luminate released a new feasibility study for an International Fund for Public Interest Media. The study provides details on how the fund would support the development, sustainability and independence of public interest media around the world. Luminate will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 5, to discuss the fund and the findings of the study. Learn more.
     
  • What makes people care? On Wednesday, May 6, the Center for Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications will host a workshop that introduces participants to six core communications principles that can be applied to social change organizations to get people to care about their work. Learn more.
     
  • Last week, Jeff Skoll gave $100 million to the Skoll Foundation to deal with the public health, economic, and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
     
  • Poynter has put together a guide for how newsrooms can make the most of May 5's #GivingNewsday—the campaign to attract new subscribers, donors and financial supporters of local news. Learn more.
     
  • The Inasmuch Foundation and Local Media Association have launched the Oklahoma Media Center, a statewide journalism collaborative that will develop and share news content related to COVID-19 crisis impacts in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and statewide. Learn more.
     
  • Over the next year, the Democracy Fund's Engaged Journalism Lab will focus on engaging funders to support equity in journalism. Learn more.

With a robust selection of webinars, we’ll bring

the discussion to you even if you can’t leave your desk (lunch not included). Missed any of our latest?

Watch the recaps
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