Investing in Equitable News and Media Projects

Racial Justice
July 14, 2020

An independent and free media has always been fundamental to democracy—a prerequisite for an informed citizenry, empowered to participate meaningfully in public debate and to hold power accountable. Yet the voices featured and the audiences catered to have also been a representation of power. A growing push for equitable news and media has sought to counter this dynamic. But despite the recognition of the importance of this sector, efforts from philanthropy and investors have not been sufficient to sustain it and enable it to thrive.

This report, produced as part of a Ford Foundation series on Reconstructing American News, offers an analysis and a set of recommendations for how investors can support equitable media, with a focus on:

  1. Supporting experimentation and R&D around revenue models.
  1. Fostering a community of practice around emerging alternative ownership structures.
  1. Building up the business and finance skills of journalists and media entrepreneurs involved in equitable media.  
  1. Developing best practices for media investors to invest with an impact lens.

Philanthropy’s Role

Given that not all the support needed for equitable media will come from investors - whether traditional or impact - the report also issues a call for the role of philanthropy in increasing support for equitable media through grants, concessionary investment capital, expertise, and convening power around standard settings and best practices.

Download the Report

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