Giving Compass' Take:

• Media Impact Funders reports on the International Symposium on Online Journalism, which explored how outlets can help retain and grow audiences and prevent the spread of misinformation.

• For philanthropists looking to support journalistic organizations, there are two big takeaways: understand that operating support is crucial and supply talent to engage media consumers (such as data scientists, researchers, etc.).

• Learn more ways in which funders can make an impact on journalism.

Since 1999, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin has hosted the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), and it is unique among journalism conferences for its international focus and participation. Last month’s ISOJ conference of nearly 500 journalists, researchers, and others from the media industry had a hopeful current running throughout, with panels and conversations about diverse revenue sources for journalism, creative audience engagement, and the importance of this work at a critical moment in living history.

Also hopeful was a through line of respect for audiences as intelligent consumers of news and information (despite being overwhelmed with sources and the 10 million URLs posted to the internet each day), and a shifting of focus to the platforms, algorithms, bots, and trolls that are creating an ecosystem in which misinformation and disinformation are running rampant and spreading rapidly.

Altogether, the takeaway from ISOJ 2018 can be summed up as: “If you build it, they might come.” And, it’s up to the journalistic organizations to figure out who makes up the “they,” and what “it” is they want and need.

Read the full article about the 2018 International Symposium on Online Journalism by Lindsay Green-Barber at Media Impact Funders.