Four online community news sites, including MinnPost.com, have received grants from the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to expand their local reporting resources.
In announcing the grants totaling $390,000, Knight said they would help the nonprofit sites draw a larger audience by providing more local news, a key to their long-term viability.
“As the news industry cuts costs by reducing staff — including local reporters — citizens are receiving less of the news they need to lead informed lives and hold their governments accountable,” Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation’s journalism program director, said. “These young, online-only sites help fill the void and offer the information needed to make decisions.”
MinnPost’s grant is for $105,000. It is the second grant that MinnPost has received from Knight — the foundation gave MinnPost $250,000 at its launch in 2007.
The other grant recipients are:
• voiceofsandiego.org, the only professionally-staffed, nonprofit online news site in California.
• Chi-town Daily News, which uses citizen journalists and staff reporters to cover Chicago’s 75 neighborhoods.
• St. Louis Beacon, which emphasizes local news on its site founded by veteran journalists, and partners with its local public television station.
The grants are part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to help find new, sustainable models for delivering news and information in the digital age. Knight has invested $100 million in media innovative initiatives. They include the Knight News Challenge, an annual contest to find the most innovative ideas for information delivery and exchange and a high-level commission examining national media policy.
“As resources devoted to serious journalism shrink, Knight Foundation has been a leader in encouraging innovators and entrepreneurs to create new forms and business models,” Joel Kramer, editor and CEO of MinnPost.com, said. “Knight made a major grant to help MinnPost.com launch a year ago, and we’re honored to receive this second grant along with these other exciting local sites.”