Journalism meets non-profits with grants and other support


Among the reasons print publications have fallen under the shadows of social media are the advertisers going where the public’s attention goes, including a variety of online sites.

Facebook and Twitter are leaders among media used for mass communication today. This essentially leaves many newspapers walking a thin line, with many layoffs along the way.

I hadn’t thought of how print newspapers were funding themselves with the loss of advertising, so I decided to look into it. And I found one of their new approaches interesting: they’re turning to non-profit organizations.

Some newspapers, such as the St. Louis Beacon, receive money from foundations and individuals with special interests and considerable financial capabilities. For example, the St. Louis Beacon received a grant of $500,000 from the former St. Louis Post-Dispatch owner, Emily Rauh Pulitzer. The Beacon has received even more, in the millions, from other foundations and benefactors.

The reason why The Beacon and other similar publications accept grants from multiple sources is because the traditional means of commercial support— subscriptions, single-copy and newsstand sales, and advertising— are no longer enough for small newspapers. Yet it is not realistic to depend on benefactors continually funding newspapers as years go on. Although this is a new trend for newspaper publishers, it is still not the cure to financial stability.

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