Breaking News! A New Fund for the Future of Journalism

The Local Journalism Support Fund will support news reporters and build engaged, informed communities.

The shift to digital media has been devastating to newspapers across the United States, with large tech companies eating into the advertising revenue that traditionally has sustained local journalism.

Rural and underserved communities, where the local paper is often the primary source of information about important topics like government and education, have been hardest hit. Many have closed, merged with other papers, or been bought out by hedge funds that have stripped cash from operations.

There’s good news, though. Many media outlets are pursuing another path to sustainability: journalism philanthropy. Major papers from Chicago to Philadelphia have incorporated as nonprofits, while new organizations based around donations and grants and operating similar to wire services are sprouting up to fill gaps in coverage.

Bob Woodward Director of Journalism Philanthropy and College Student Partnerships, Woodward Communications

In Dubuque, the Telegraph Herald and its publisher, Woodward Communications, are following a similar route. The company has partnered with the Community Foundation to launch the Local Journalism Support Fund to ensure the Dubuque region continues to have high-quality, independent reporting for years to come.

“These funds are designated to pay solely and exclusively for reporter salaries and benefits,” says Bob Woodward, director of jounalism philanthropy and college student partnerships for Woodward Communications. “We are dedicated to growing this fund and keeping local journalism sustainable in the Dubuque region.”

For years, the Foundation and the newspaper have partnered on initiatives that foster an engaged and informed community. This new fund builds on that partnership by supporting a major source of information for thousands of people.

“Journalism plays an important role in strong communities,” says Nancy Van Milligen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Through this partnership, we are ensuring that fair, accurate and well-reported stories always have a home in Dubuque.”

Pictured above: Telegraph Herald reporter Maia Bond, whose position is funded by the Local Journalism Support Fund and Report for America, reviews a page proof in the paper’s newsroom.


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