Sharing best practices in investigative and independent journalism focus of three initiatives supported by $455,000 from Knight Foundation

MIAMI – Dec. 1, 2016 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $455,000 in new funding to three leading journalism groups to help support the exchange and adoption of innovation and best practices among investigative and independent reporters. The organizations receiving support include: Institute for Nonprofit News, Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., and Local Independent Online News Publishers.

Nonprofit, investigative and independent news organizations play an essential role in providing credible journalism to communities. They help to fill widening gaps in local news coverage, as cuts to legacy newsrooms continue to impact coverage of pressing community issues. Despite this fact, they continue to face many challenges to launch and sustain their newsrooms, and struggle to develop successful business models, update skills and increase diversity in their ranks.

The initiatives receiving new Knight Foundation support aim to help tackle these issues. They include:

The Institute for Nonprofit News | $180,000 | Twitter: @inn | Los Angeles: The organization will launch a digital knowledge hub to increase the success of independent public service news startups. The hub will include lessons on strategic business planning, playbooks, case studies and more. In addition, the organization will introduce in-person training focused on increasing the business skills of nonprofit journalism leaders. The training sessions will focus on developing new approaches to audience engagement and revenue opportunities, while helping participants better apply data, mobile and social tools to advance their work.

Investigative Reporters and Editors | $75,000 | Twitter: @IRE_NICAR, | Columbia, Missouri: Funding will advance the exchange of best practices and innovations through targeted programming and hands-on training at the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting 2017 annual conferences. It will also help support the participation of Ida B. Wells Society fellows at the conferences to expand diversity in attendance, at training sessions, and in the lineup of featured speakers. The newly established Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting is a news association that works to increase the ranks of investigative journalists and data journalists of color.

Local Independent Online News Publishers | $200,000 | Twitter: @LIONPubs | Tucson, Arizona: The organization will hire a full-time executive director to strengthen and expand its peer-to-peer learning network, which helps independent journalists share best practices and develop their expertise in technology and business skills; the network supports other online exchanges and regular live events. In addition, funding will support regional workshops and the annual Local Independent Online News Publishers conference, which offers training on issues such as journalistic innovation, fundraising, metrics and audience engagement.

“Ensuring that independent and investigative journalists have the tools, resources and spaces they need to thrive and support great local reporting is essential to building stronger, more engaged communities. These initiatives do just that, encouraging the exchange of ideas and innovation while providing solutions to the real challenges these organizations face,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism.

Support for these projects is part of Knight’s efforts to help news organizations establish long-term sustainability and advance excellence in journalism. Knight has made many investments in this area including support for the Online News Association’s ONA Local initiative and the University of Oregon’s community of practice in engagement journalism. The foundation also recently partnered with Google to establish the Journalism 360 initiative, which helps journalists around the world experiment with and advance the field of immersive storytelling.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

Contact: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]