Following the money: philanthropy and news literacy education

Jennifer Fleming, California State University, Long Beach


This qualitative case study explores philanthropic investment in news literacy education with a focus on programs informed and inspired by journalistic principles and practices such as the ones developed at the Stony Brook Center for News Literacy and the News Literacy Project. Collectively, these programs attracted the majority of foundation funding dedicated to the emerging field between 2006 and 2015. By highlighting the perspectives of those involved in news literacy grantmaking, a more complete picture of news literacy education in the United States emerges. The results suggest that news literacy funding was at first large- ly experimental and curricula developed by journalists-turned-educators significantly influenced how foundation executives defined news literacy skills and how their organizations positioned news literacy investments. The findings also indicate that as news literacy funding evolved and ma- tured along with the discipline, some foundation decision makers said they prefer module-based programs geared towards middle and high school students, while others stated they would like to see more meaningful connections between news literacy, media literacy, and digital literacy pedagogies.

Following the money: philanthropy and news literacy education by THEAJEUK


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