Borealis Philanthropy, a Minneapolis-based philanthropic intermediary, has announced the launch of a fund designed to advance racial equity in journalism.
According to Candid and the Democracy Fund, between 2009 and 2015 grants totaling $1.2 billion were awarded in support of journalism, news, and information dissemination in the United States, but only 6 percent of the total was dedicated to efforts serving specific racial and ethnic groups, and only 7 percent went toward efforts serving economically disadvantaged populations.
To bolster the capacity and sustainability of news organizations led by people of color, the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund will invest in nonprofit and for-profit publishers, with preference given to organizations that have developed creative and innovative ways of reaching the communities they serve and that provide critical news in a timely fashion to underserved communities. To date, the fund has raised $3.6 million from a number of grantmakers, including Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Democracy Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Google News Initiative, and the News Integrity Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
"The Racial Equity in Journalism Fund is one of the most crucial steps we can take to shore up a foundational institution in American democracy," said Jelani Cobb, staff writer for the New Yorker and director of the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights. "At a moment where the press is battling on multiple fronts, it is critical that our newsrooms feature the most insightful voices from every single community. Our capacity to tell the whole story depends upon it."
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