Wyncote Foundation / 1717 Arch St 14th Fl Philadelphia Pa 19103 / Tel: 215.557.9577 / info@wyncotefoundation.org

Public Media & Journalism Grantmaking // Full Goals & Priorities

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Goals:

 

Wyncote Foundation works to further a vibrant, meaningful public media ecosystem, which is integral to a public sphere that enriches civic life, alongside parks, libraries, community colleges, land-grant universities, arts and cultural institutions and a vigorous free press.

 

We support public media that furthers cultural and creative expression, that stimulates civic engagement, and journalism that provides essential information and analysis that are vital to informed communities in a democratic society. 

 

We define “public media” as the larger ecosystem that includes legacy CPB-funded public broadcasting as well as enterprises producing and distributing public interest, educational and mission-driven media. For background, see the Center for Media and Social Impact’s publication Public Media 2.0.  

 

Priorities:

 

Wyncote supports efforts that contribute to one or more of the following:

 

1)  Compelling public media content that furthers creative cultural expression, learning, and attention to key civic issues. Priority is given to work from diverse perspectives, and that spurs engagement within and across communities.

 

2)  Accountability journalism within the greater Philadelphia area. Beyond the region, support focuses on initiatives that link journalistic resources – regionally, nationally or both.

 

3)  Systemic initiatives that further the evolution of public media, to more effectively meet its mission.

 

4)  Forums for research, analysis and exchange of ideas within the field, addressing challenges, learnings and best practices, to assist practitioners, funders and other colleagues to further their work.

 

Approaches:

 

We take a systems view, focusing on trends and interconnections in the sector. So there are many worthy efforts that fall within our general focus areas, but which we won’t have the capacity to fund.

 

We may go it alone, but generally work in partnership with one or more colleague funders. At least half of what we do is learn and share ideas, as much as funding. In some cases, we work more closely with selected grantees as project partners.

 

Wyncote funds mostly nonprofit organizations, but also for-profit enterprises at times. We don’t see “media in the public interest” as exclusive to the nonprofit sector.

 

Average annual grant budget from 2014-2016 is $5.3 million.

Compelling Content

 

 

Accountability Journalism

 

  • The Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s permanent endowment fund, to support the creation of new media delivery models for journalistic coverage in Philadelphia.

  • The Next Mayor, a collaborative journalism project covering key issues related to Philadelphia’s 2015 mayoral election, with partners Philly.com (drawing on resources from The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News), Temple University's School of Media and Communication, WHYY, the good government group Committee of 70, and others.

  • Center for Public Integrity’s investigative journalism work, and collaborations with Institute for Nonprofit News member groups.

  • Statewide coverage of New Jersey public affairs, through the cooperative New Jersey Public Radio News (a program of WNYC) and Community Foundation of New Jersey’s Trenton-based NJ Spotlight, digital journalism covering 3 key state issues: education, environment and energy.

  • Center for Investigative Reporting, for its state, regional and national investigative journalism.

  • Support for the transition of PlanPhilly.com, which covers zoning and urban planning policies and actions in Philadelphia, to Newsworks.org, WHYY’s online news division.

  • Detroit Educational Television Foundation, to support its new program "Public Media Book Bureau,” an initiative that uses multimedia channels to celebrate the love of books and introduce people to great authors.

  • StateImpact Pennsylvania, led by WITF/Harrisburg, covering energy issues in PA, including in-depth radio features, investigative journalism, and multimedia/interactive web projects; and WITF’s project planning for PA Post, a digital-first, statewide news organization that will bring state government, politics and policy issues to PA citizens.

 

System Evolution & Growth

 

  • The Public TV Major Market Stations Group, for its local, regional and national program productions and community collaborations organized around common themes.

  • VuHaus, a streaming platform featuring unique music videos of live performances produced by public radio stations across the country, developed by Public Media Company.

  • National Federation of Community Broadcasters, for six regional summits associated with phase one of its “Community Counts” initiative.

  • Independent Television Service for its Indies Lab 3.0 initiative, building ITVS’ capacity to map new production and distribution opportunities, while developing capabilities that support digital content creation, asset management, rights management, and delivery.

  • International Documentary Association (IDA), to support its biennial conference, engaging filmmakers in developing solutions for the most pressing challenges to their creative practice.

Forums/Research, etc.

 

  • Public Media Futures Forums, which examine pressing sector issues such as audience development, impact measurement, and membership, in partnership with sector affinity groups. (Project led by Mark Fuerst.)

  • Current newspaper and Current.org, for its ongoing coverage of trends and issues in the evolving public media sector (an editorially independent publication based at American University’s School of Communications).

  • Media Impact Funders, for ongoing programs supporting knowledge sharing, research and collaborations among funders furthering their missions through media and technology.

  • The Foundation Center, for its Future of Media in America mapping project.

  • Center for Media and Social Impact, whose Public Media 2.0 and other publications offer insights into rapid change within public media (based at American University’s School of Communications).

  • Like, Link, Share: How Cultural Institutions are Embracing Digital Technology, a research project and report focusing on legacy cultural institutions utilizing digital media strategies to further their missions, and lessons learned as to the challenges and opportunities in these efforts. And Wanderway, a free online course for cultural organizations, small businesses, and artists encouraging experimentation with digital engagement, developed over two years and informed by feedback from the LLS “road show.” (Projects led by Sarah Lutman of Lutman & Associates.)

 

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