Here is a preview of that discussion.
"At the center of these debates, from surveillance to Net Neutrality, is a question about how our fundamental freedoms, so long expressed and protected in the physical world, will translate to the digital age. "
A snippet from a longer post about philanthropy -- including especially technologists' philanthropy -- and news, five guidelines for the proper role of philanthropy and journalism:
1. Philanthropy should support that which the market will not support. And it should wait patiently to determine what that is. In other words, just because something is not being done now does not mean that philanthropy should swoop in and take it over if the market may find opportunity in it.
2. Philanthropy should not compete with the market. We heard this some years ago when a new non-for-profit news entity sprouted in San Francisco and an executive at the crippled Chronicle complained that it could kill the paper. Thank goodness for the paper, the charity was worse run than it and the paper outlasted it.
3. Philanthropy should help build the economic sustainability and independence of news. Here’s the most self-serving thing I will say from my perch in a university: This includes training the next generation of news innovators. It also includes investing in infrastructure and innovation, new methods and models. Innovation in news requires patient capital that will fund not losses but instead experiments and daring failures. Philanthropy can do that.
4. Philanthropy — and journalism , too — should measure its success by the outcomes it accomplishes. Journalists have something to learn from foundations here: It’s not enough to produce content and build audience. Journalism has to help communities better themselves. That starts with listening to the public and its needs.
5. Charity is finite. Yes, you can start a news organization on charity. Yes, we could support a great deal of the investigative reporting we have philanthropically. But I am more ambitious than that; the need is greater. The souce for investigative reporting is (1) whistleblowers and (2) beat reporting. We need to support beats at scale. That’s why I’m doing the work I’m doing in New Jersey and why I’m starting a new training program for beat businesses in a box. Charity doesn’t scale. Sustainability does.
Philanthropy is precious, important, useful. It is a gift to use well and wisely. It isn’t an excuse not do do our jobs. And our job is to rebuild journalism into a service that will last.
Full post here: http://buzzmachine.com/2014/02/26/philanthropy-and-the-news/
My work focuses on building community through online and grassroots organizing, creative storytelling, high impact events, public education and collaborative problem-solving.
For more than ten years I have worked at the intersection of communications, education reform, student organizing and civic engagement. I have built longstanding coalitions and directed national issue campaigns designed to amplify the voice of people in Washington, DC. My work in higher education has included teaching and advising students, training faculty in service-learning pedagogy and developing civic engagement curriculum. I still miss teaching.
I'm a founding board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and speak frequently on press freedom, the future of journalism, community media, civic engagement, collaboration and media policy. My articles have appeared at the Columbia Journalism Review, Mother Jones, BoingBoing, PBS MediaShift and Orion Magazine. And I just launched Verification Junkie, a growing directory of tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content.
Follow me on Twitter: @jcstearns.
I live in Western Massachusetts with my wife and two sons and serve on the boards of a number of conservation and youth organizations.
- UMass Amherst
- St. Lawrence University
- Free PressJournalism and Public Media Campaign Director, present
- UMass Amherst
- Campus Compact
- Student Conservation Association