Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Fast and furious action on the nonprofit news tax-exempt status/financial sustainability front. For your consideration:
- The Council on Foundations is forming a Nonprofit Media Working Group that by the end of the year will recommend what tax changes or clarifications could better enable such news organizations to meet the information needs of communities. The working group, spearheaded by Eric Newton of the Knight Foundation and chaired by Steve Waldman of the Columbia Journalism School, will set its course during a March 1 teleconference. I am honored to serve as a member of the group.
- I also participated in a recent Patterson Foundation-hosted conference in Sarasota, Fla., on financial sustainability for nonprofit journalism start-ups. Patterson’s Janet Coats and Kevin Davis, executive director of the Investigative News Network, led the discussion among foundation leaders, nonprofit news publishers and media consultants. Coats’ report on the proceedings hits the high notes.
- Obituaries on the dearly departed Chicago News Cooperative (CNC) cited the lack of fundraising traction and the inability to snare IRS tax-exempt status. It’s probably best to allow what the Chicago Tribune hailed as “a bold experiment at supplementing or supplanting daily newspapers” to rest in peace. Good people...good idea…partnership with the New York Times…but things just didn’t work out. Others will continue to fight on in hopes of gathering foundation grants, affluent local family charitable funds, content partners, dues-paying members and paid subscribers. And you may want to check out the Columbia Journalism Review's update on the CNC.
- The McCormick Foundation, a long-time supporter of nonprofit journalism news organizations, will be part of the solution. We continue to fund groups such as The Chicago Reporter, INN, the Center for Public Integrity and university-based news initiatives at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. And we’ll see what role the tax-exempt journalism model plays in our Why News Matters grantmaking initiative.
By our reckoning, nearly 1,000 interested parties have locked into McCormick Media Matters, watched the Why News Matters video or checked out the Request for Ideas. The deadline for submitting ideas is April 2, 2012. Here are some pertinent links:
- Find out more about the Why News Matters initiative and request for ideas at http://www.whynewsmatters.org/.
- Download the complete “printer friendly” version of the Why News Matters Request for Ideas and application packet.
- Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.
- Share the Why News Matters video with colleagues and friends.
- Review a list of news literacy resources.
- Sign-up for an upcoming webinar or in-person information session on March 9, 16 and 27, at 3pm CT.
Please help us spread the word via social media.
- Have a project idea for news literacy? Apply for a @McCormickJrnlsm Why News Matters grant fb.me/GfB7j9ls
- $6 million in news literacy grants available. Apply now for @McCormickJrnlsm Why News Matters grant fb.me/GfB7j9ls