Giving Compass' Take:

• Jenny Choi, at Medium, encourages funders to prioritize diversity and inclusivity when supporting journalism during COVID-19.

• What can you do to increase your giving towards inclusive journalism for those who need vital information to survive?

• Find funds to support essential response efforts like journalism during COVID-19.

There has been an influx of emergency funds created across a wide variety of sectors in rapid response to the crisis, but it’s also critical to remember that characterizing the coronavirus as the great “equalizer” is inaccurate. We can’t afford to neglect using a justice lens in designing these emergency funds to ensure that all communities, including those already struggling in information deserts, receive life-saving information during these unprecedented and challenging times.

The effect of the coronavirus on the local journalism industry has been extraordinarily complicated and profound: communities have become desperate for timely, accurate information on an unseen, unknown villain that seemed to take away all of their loved ones, their freedoms, and feelings of safety and security overnight.

Key things to consider when deploying an Emergency Response Fund:

  • Include partners with strong credibility working with communities of color, including newsrooms led by people of color, in the design and decision-making phases of the grantmaking.
  • Share best practices on innovative collaborations to support capacity to address the information needs and demands of underserved communities
  • Elevate and protect diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) values by holding newsrooms accountable in the face of imminent layoffs and disappearing internships.

As newsrooms have come to greatly depend on philanthropic support, we are in a moment where the leadership of funders who care about the provision of high quality civic information is critical in saving people’s lives — in particular, the lives of the most vulnerable. The business of journalism may not look the same after we’ve recovered from the pandemic, but philanthropy can be proactive in taking the right steps to ensure we are making thoughtful, inclusive and equitable decisions for the future, to support a vibrant democracy that celebrates and supports all lived experiences and stories.

Read the full article about journalism during COVID-19 by Jenny Choi at Medium.