$48 Million in Support of Local News, Initial Seeding of Press Forward Collaborative – MacArthur Foundation

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The first set grants to support Press Forward pooled and aligned grantmaking will fund infrastructure support and local newsrooms.
MacArthur today announced $48 million in grants to support pooled and aligned grantmaking in support of Press Forward, a national initiative to strengthen communities and democracy by supporting local news and information with an infusion of more than $500 million dollars over the next five years.
Press Forward was launched by a coalition of donors earlier this year and is centered on four funding priorities:
“Journalism, particularly local journalism, is the fabric of our democracy, the medium through which we strengthen communities, tell stories that build shared understanding, and hold power to account,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “Twenty percent of Americans live in ‘news deserts,’ areas without reliable coverage of local issues. Press Forward aims to reverse that trend and confront this lack of credible information that contributes to a growing divide in America, declining civic engagement, and distrust in its institutions.”
The largest of MacArthur’s initial grants, $32.5 million, will go to a national pooled fund for local news, housed at The Miami Foundation to provide a way for donors of all sizes and types to partner in this shared effort.
MacArthur has also launched a new grantmaking strategy to support local news in alignment with Press Forward to provide direct grants to news organizations and outlets, each of which are also being supported by at least one other Press Forward funding partner. The first of those grants, which will provide infrastructure support and shared services, along with direct support for eight local newsrooms, are:
This first set of grants includes funding for infrastructure support and shared services, along with direct support for eight local newsrooms that engage in sustained, deep listening to serve their communities with news and information. These newsrooms also explore how to deliver information in innovative ways, including through text messaging. Through its own grantmaking and grantmaking with Press Forward partners in the pooled fund, MacArthur is building the case for, and highlighting the possibility of, a local news renaissance around the country.
Revitalizing local news to better inform communities and strengthen American democracy.