Saturday, September 2, 2017

NYTimes Looks to Philanthropy to Help Fund Journalism Projects

The New York Times is exploring another source of funding: philanthropy.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper said one of its top editors, Janet Elder, will be setting up an operation to seek nonprofit funding that can help support ambitious newsroom projects.

“Over the past year a host of philanthropies and universities have come forward asking to help support our journalism,” the paper said in a Friday note signed by Editor In Chief Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joseph Kahn. “There are opportunities to extend the reach and impact of our journalism with additional support.”

The Times, like all legacy news outlets, is battling steep declines in print advertising. And though it has enjoyed a surge in digital subscriptions and solid digital ad growth recently, the company said nonprofit funding can provide greater flexibility.

“We think there are journalism projects we are eager to pursue that could be more ambitious and have greater impact with outside support,” the note from Messrs. Baquet and Kahn said.

Publications like The Times have often done stand-alone projects with nonprofits or philanthropic organizations, but the new arrangement with Ms. Elder formalizes the process and signals a bigger commitment to nonprofit partnerships.

The Times said Ms. Elder’s first job will be to explore which types of funding to bring in and which initiatives it should pay for. She will also look at the legal or ethical questions associated with taking donations.

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