Giving Compass' Take:
- A conversation with Vince Stehle of Media Impact Funders about the role of philanthropy in a changing media landscape. He discusses how media can create positive change by the power of argument and within storytelling for organizations to better articulate why their causes matter to the investor.
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The overarching theme that we’re hearing in every meeting and in every conversation is, “now more than ever.” It’s a phrase that seems to be etched into the moment that we’re in, and it applies to media, journalism, investigative reporting, defense of the First Amendment, defense of the idea that facts matter—and the whole foundation of our civilization. Evidence and rational argument should be the foundation of how we govern ourselves and how we conduct our affairs. All of these things are, in some way or another, being challenged.
Strong networks are the foundation of our growing work. The larger philanthropic community is becoming aware of some of these issues rather suddenly—they are recognizing that there is a network of key players who have been thinking about these issues all along.
It’s a strong argument that more of these wealthy internet entrepreneurs should be thinking of ways they can contribute to a media ecosystem that serves the information needs of communities, and not just their bottom line. It’s a huge opportunity for technology companies, and the entrepreneurs and investors who have profited from that enormous boom, to think about the kind of contributions they could be making to media and journalism organizations.
We hope that philanthropy is waking up to the very vital importance of journalism and media to contribute to an evidence-based understanding of the world that we’re in. Those of us who invest in a better world need to have better information to conduct that work. So the case for media and journalism, across the board in philanthropy, suddenly becomes much stronger.