Monday, July 6, 2009

Westphal Report: Role of Foundations

David Westhpal, USC fellow and former D.C. bureau chief for McClatchy, has issued a tinely report on foundations' role in supporting journalism.

No surprises here: Saving journalism, he finds, is a bigger task than all of U.S. philanthropy is able to take on. And we learn that we may be entering a "gray age" of information in which newspapers and other legacy media cut budgets faster than other sources can fill the void.

But the parts that may be most interesting are those in which Westphal explores some possible new models in interviews with leaders of the St. Petersburg Times and Human Rights Watch, an advocacy organization that is stepping into a new role as content producer. He also dives deeper into the notion of specialty nonprofits a la Kaiser Health News.

In any case, it's a well written, informative narrative, and it shines some light on what the field of journalism looks like from the point of view of foundations at the national and community levels.

For more info, here's the official press release on Westphal's report.

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