The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced nearly $25 million in unrestricted funding commitments in support of public and independent media in the United States.
With the investments, the foundation is recommitting itself to the core values of accurate, in-depth journalism and documentary storytelling while also supporting innovation and experimentation and building diversity in the field. To that end, five-year general operating support grants to a core group of grantees will be used to help promote experimentation in storytelling forms and platforms; build a journalism and civic media infrastructure that supports individuals facing legal, personal safety, and digital security challenges; facilitate noncommercial-commercial collaborations to ensure that public interest content reaches the broadest audience possible; fund programs that nurture a new generation of diverse, digital-savvy civic leaders and nonfiction storytellers; and strengthen local accountability and investigative reporting in Chicago, where the foundation is based.
Grant recipients include the WGBH Educational Foundation, which was awarded $4.2 million in support of its FRONTLINE documentary series; National Public Radio, which was awarded $4 million in support of its investigative and international reporting; the Center for Investigative Reporting, which will receive $3.5 million in support of its in-depth investigative reports; and the Nation Institute, which will receive $750,000 in support of its Investigative Fund, a journalism fellows program.
"Independent media plays an important role in how Americans understand their community and the world, the decisions they make, and whether and how they exercise their responsibility as citizens," said MacArthur Foundation president Julia Stasch. "MacArthur's investments will strengthen and enlarge the ecosystem of independent journalism, enabling even more entrepreneurial work that makes available factual reporting, authentic stories, and diverse voices to help inform a robust public civic dialogue."
For a complete list of recipients, see the MacArthur Foundation website.