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Knight Foundation president urges ‘philanthropy at the speed of news’ in first address

Annual Knight Media Forum gathers hundreds of funders, calls for decisive action to support journalism and democracy as $500 million Press Forward initiative announces new chapters

MIAMI – The Knight Media Forum (KMF), hosted by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, convenes from February 20 to 22 in Miami amid mounting headwinds in the media industry. For 17 years, the annual event has brought together community foundations and philanthropists in an effort to galvanize investment in journalism. This year, that work has become more urgent with continuing announcements of layoffs and closures throughout the industry.

Maribel Pérez Wadsworth poses for a portrait.

Gesi Schilling for Knight Foundation.

“Worthy nonprofit efforts are running out of funding. Major news outlets are facing devastating layoffs,” Maribel Pérez Wadsworth will say in her first address as Knight’s new president and CEO. “Today, more than half of all U.S. counties have limited access to reliable local news and information. The best time for solutions was yesterday, as the saying goes — but the next best time is right now.

“It is time — now — for philanthropy to move at the speed of news.” 

You can watch her open the forum at 9:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 21 and tune in for sessions that feature the country’s top news innovators and address the core issues contributing to America’s news crisis and the importance of building sustainable news platforms. 

Press Forward, an initiative that’s raised $500 million to invest in revitalizing local news, will take center stage. Launched at last year’s Knight Media Forum, it’s gained great momentum adding a number of local chapters. MacArthur Foundation President John Palfrey will provide details on the national effort. 

Maribel Pérez Wadsworth poses for a portrait.

The full agenda can be found here. Registration for in-person attendance at Knight Media Forum 2024 is now closed. However, you can watch a live streaming of the event here. For more information about the event visit kf.org/kmf2024.

About Knight Foundation:

We are social investors who support a more effective democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn.

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Media Contact
Rebecca Dinar
Knight Foundation
305-710-5361
[email protected]