$175,000 grant will support community news

Nancy Van Milligen President & CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque has received a $175,000 grant from Press Forward that will help strengthen local news outlets and support fair and accurate community reporting during a challenging time for journalism.

As Iowa’s first and only Press Forward chapter, the Community Foundation serves as a philanthropic resource for people and organizations who understand the revenue challenges news outlets face and want to increase their capacity to provide quality journalism around topics that matter in local communities.

With this first Press Forward grant, the Community Foundation will empower local donors to build a sustainable funding stream that supports local journalism across the seven-county Dubuque region.

“Throughout our region, we've already seen the erosion of expertise and dwindling coverage of vital issues like education, local government, and basic citizen services,” says Nancy Van Milligen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “If we don't support reporting on these topics, there will be fewer informed discussions about these issues in communities. The public will lose touch with these important issues.

“Our blueprint of change is that an informed, engaged public leads to better leadership and better policy changes.”

Press Forward is a national movement to strengthen democracy by revitalizing local news and information. A coalition of funders is investing more than $500 million to strengthen local newsrooms, close longstanding gaps in journalism coverage, advance public policy that expands access to local news, and to scale the infrastructure the sector needs to thrive.

Press Forward Locals like the Community Foundation are a network of chapters across the country where funders bring new donors and foundations together to expand resources for local news. These 21 chapters are an opportunity for funders to create place-based initiatives, driven by the specific information needs of their communities.

Supporting local journalism builds on the Community Foundation’s 21-year history of community philanthropy, strengthening local organizations like nonprofits and schools that address some of the region’s most pressing issues.

“We support other community-good and democratic institutions such as libraries, universities, museums, and symphonies — journalism should be thought of in those same terms,” Van Milligen says. “Journalism is unlikely to recover using the old economic models and it's a vital part of democracy.”

The Foundation also hosts charitable funds that support journalism in the Dubuque region, including:

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