A “sobering” study of attitudes toward the press conducted by Knight Foundation and Gallup was released Tuesday. It found that nearly half of all Americans describe the news media as “very biased.” The study found that 71% of Republicans have a “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable opinion of the news media, while 22% of Democrats feel the same way. Switch it around, and 54% of Democrats have a very favorable view of the media, and only 13% of Republicans feel the same way.
Local news is more trusted than national news, yes. But that’s largely because national news is not very trusted, especially by Republicans, according to a new study from the Knight Foundation and Gallup. And that trust could disappear. “A small reservoir of goodwill exists toward local news organizations because they are local, but this could quickly dry up if Americans perceive more political bias in coverage.”
The Knight Foundation said Monday that it will give nearly $50 million to support emerging research on how society is informed in the digital age. Part of the funding will go to a number of universities, helping establish new cross-disciplinary research centers. Another $11 million will go toward supporting policy and legal research around rules that should govern social media and tech companies.
The Knight Foundation says it will invest $300 million in local journalism over the next five years. Among the beneficiaries are the American Journalism Project, which provides grants to local nonprofit news organizations; the investigative site ProPublica; Report for America, a service organization that pays for the hiring of local journalists; and PBS’s Frontline, the documentary program that’s making its first foray into local news.
A new Knight Foundation study finds good news for local TV broadcasters in the future information landscape, suggesting they’ll have the dominant role. Their more aggressive presence on social media may be prodding that along.
With $4.5 million, the Knight Foundation is launching a new commission — and funding more new projects — to address declining public trust in media.
The money will be used to discover and fund broadcast news projects that serve local communities as part of the association’s Pilot Innovation Challenge.
The Associated Press will bring data journalism to a wider range of news organizations with the help of a $400,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, the AP said today. AP will use the funds to bring on more data journalists and increase its distribution of localized data sets.
The Local News Lab has launched, supported by a $2 million grant awarded by the Knight Foundation. The New Jersey-based organization will incubate six local journalism sites to “try to understand and develop viable revenue models for both nonprofit and for-profit news organizations.” The Local News Lab has six pilot sites with staff sizes ranging from one to four and each focusing on local news in their region.
The Knight Foundation will partner with the Investigative News Network in the newly formed INNovation Fund. The fund will target approximately 30 projects over the next two years with micro-grants of up to $35,000 to explore new approaches to revenue generation and audience engagement.