Join us in supporting organizations that are building the future of local news in the United States.
Local journalists are at the frontline of communities, investigating and delivering the news that matters most to residents. Their future and the survival of their profession is critically entwined with the health of our communities and our democracy. And they are disappearing.
Confronted with sinking revenues, local news organizations are shutting their doors and leaving many U.S. communities without a daily news outlet. At the same time, trust in news has hit all-time lows and polarization has peaked, in part because the shrinking of local news has led to a loss of trustworthy information created by people we know.
We have an opportunity to turn that around — together. Knight Foundation is investing in new, scalable initiatives with the potential to underpin a fresh future for local news as part of a $300 million, five-year commitment to strengthening journalism.
Our investment is just a start; building the news infrastructure that will support democracy in the 21st century needs a lasting commitment from institutional funders and individuals passionate about the role local news plays in our democracy. We are inviting you to be a part of this resurgence.
To create new business models and approaches that will sustain local news, we need to understand where we are, how we got here and what to do next. This collection of articles and resources gives us some insight.
An initiative of Democracy Fund dedicated to creative experiments in journalism sustainability.
A project of the American Press Institute and the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative that provides best practices and guidance on issues facing news organizations, particularly local, regional and metropolitan newspapers.
A report by the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism
We support scalable projects that work to create a strong future for quality, trusted local and nonprofit news.
A platform to make journalism more responsive to community needs and more inclusive of the public’s voices and diversity, by helping journalists, educators and students find resources and best practices.
The best thing about local news is that it provides people with the information they need to shape their communities; that’s why it’s so important to our democracy. To make local impact you have to read local news.
Despite cuts to their resources and revenues, local news reporters are still producing terrific work. Here’s a round-up of stories that created community impact from some of the news organizations that participated in last year’s NewsMatch, a matching gifts program that supports local and nonprofit news organizations:
You can help local news organizations carry out this mission by supporting them with your voices, insights and pocketbooks. Here are some ideas to get you started:
FAQs on the Knight Foundation initiative on journalism and democracy
A: We fund organizations and projects that are building the infrastructure for sustainable, impactful journalism in the digital age. Our focus is on scalable organizations and projects that can deliver services on the local level across the United States. While some foundations support editorial projects around specific content areas and topics, Knight's Journalism Program does not.
A: Knight typically invests $30 million a year in strengthening journalism, or $150 million over five years. This initiative increases the investment by another $150 million over the next five years. Close to $100 million of that increase has been committed.
A: We support some amazing organizations that are helping build local news. These include the Institute for Nonprofit News, LION Publishers, the News Revenue Hub, ONA Local and Emma Bowen Foundation. The grants to other organizations announced in February build on their work. Contact any of these organizations directly if you think your idea may align.
A: You can email Email [email protected]. Also, subscribe to our newsletter and check the specific program areas that interest you for updates.
A: Knight is always open to funding requests that align with our stated strategy. Read more about what we fund.
If your project aligns, the first step in submitting a funding request is to use our grant portal Fluxx to submit an online letter of inquiry. Click “Submit a Funding Proposal” below to be routed to Fluxx. In Fluxx click “Submit a grant request” to complete the letter of inquiry where you will fill out a brief form summarizing your project and explaining why you are the one to carry it out.
If we are interested in a full proposal, we will contact you with a Fluxx username and password and a link to the proposal form.
Due to the high volume of requests, the review period might take longer than usual.