Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do Nonprofits Need Newspapers?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In the current issue of the Carnegie Reporter , Foundation critic Pablo Eisenberg explores—and offers a solution to—the decline of accountability in the nonprofit sector due to the continuing demise of investigative journalism. 

Eisenberg writes that investigative journalism has helped keep nonprofit organizations publicly accountable, tempering their problems and excesses through the power and threat of information and exposure. He suggests that donors and foundations step in to save regional newspapers by converting them into nonprofit entities. "Their actions would infuse journalism with the energy, integrity, quality and stability that it so desperately needs." And, he says, it could insure the continuing oversight of nonprofits and foundations.

We were surprised that Eisenberg was surprised that "neither big individual donors nor major foundations have shown any interest in reviving American newspapers and quality journalism." 
Strengthening investigative reporting and quality journalism is one of the McCormick Journalism Program's priorities--and we invest more than $6.2 million annually in grants to non-profit organizations strengthening our free and democratic society through journalism.

The essay, Why Nonprofits Need Newspapers, is published by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a foundation with a long record of supporting journalism initiatives.

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