Advancing a new era in local news: a call to action

Journalism / Article

A new era in the local news landscape is emerging. On Monday, the Salt Lake Tribune announced a historic IRS ruling, allowing their 149-year-old newspaper to convert into a local news nonprofit. Just last week, the Akron Devil Strip broke new ground by transitioning into the nation’s first local community news cooperative. And NewsMatch, the matching gifts program, launched for the fourth year to support a record-breaking number of nonpartisan, independent nonprofit news organizations around the country. These new models are groundbreaking, transformative, and creating pathways for a future of local journalism produced in the public interest and sustained by their communities. 

Knight Foundation’s ongoing commitment to support a future for local news that serves increasingly diverse communities extends beyond financial investment. We view journalism as the cornerstone for a healthy democracy. We see this as an opportunity to increase the overall philanthropic pie for journalism. We’re committed to helping strengthen networks of funders, journalists and civic leaders dedicated to supporting journalism that holds the powerful to account, embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, creates trust, promotes civic engagement and generates the financial support and revenue required — and now no longer guaranteed — to produce high quality, independent journalism at the local level. 

We want you to join us. 

Whether you’re a civic leader, a funder, a newspaper owner, journalist or community member frustrated by the lack of trusted information in your city, town or state, there’s a role for you to help build a future for journalism in your community. 

On a regular basis, Knight Foundation will share resources and updates for you to help take action. You can find links to the first collection of resources below. They are also accessible on Knight’s local news page, which we will update regularly. Knight’s journalism team is also available to discuss your ideas and field your questions – just send us a note

We hope you’ll take advantage of these resources:

For more news and helpful tools to advance local news in communities, like this new guide for funders by Democracy Fund, follow #lovelocalnews on Twitter. 

We all know what is at risk when the public does not have trusted, accurate information needed to make decisions about their communities. Together, as a community, we can ensure a future for local journalism that is for and supported by communities.  We hope you’ll join us during this critical moment. 

Jennifer Preston is vice president for journalism at Knight Foundation