September 12, 2019
Funders have a long history of supporting social issue media; since 2013, Media Impact Funders (MIF) has been tracking grantmaking in the growing fields of media and philanthropy with our media grants data map, developed in partnership with Candid. In 2016, we released a report on trends in media grantmaking, which revealed the field is growing rapidly and is far larger than previously expected.Following that research, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we examined the international funding picture in our 2019 report, Global Media Philanthropy: What Funders Need to Know About Data, Trends and Pressing Issues Facing the Field. Having focused on broad national and international trends and data, MIF is creating a series of smaller reports to identify trends, questions and examples of innovation around key issues of interest to our members and supporters.In spring 2019, we published Radio & Audio Grantmaking: Reaching New Audiences Through Old Platforms on audio and radio funding, and examined how both formats are being used to reach new audiences, spark civic engagement and dialogue across diverse communities, examine science, advance disability education, and much more. With continuing concern about the state of the news ecosystem among MIF members, this report focuses on journalism philanthropy in the U.S., with a special emphasis on community foundation support for local journalism. Presenting and identifying funding models and best practices for supporting local journalism was identified as one of four key learning priorities during MIF's year-long strategic planning process. In addition, engaging with community foundations that support a range of media projects was identified as a key area of concern.