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In America, donations to local newspapers have never been so large – Jornal da USP

In America, donations to local newspapers have never been so large – Jornal da USP

Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva welcomes the good news and says the initiative also affects non-profit newspapers, saying it will alleviate the crisis American journalism is going through.

Recently, the MacArthur Foundation announced approximately US$500 million in investments to support local journalism efforts in the United States. This is the largest donation ever made in this area, says professor and journalist Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva. It will be worth US$500 million over five years and one of the objectives is to increase diversity in newsrooms. “And this is yet another study demonstrating that 129 journal funders have never donated to a journal as much as they do now and intend to continue to do so.” Most of these funders want to invest in local journalism, while another part wants to invest in non-profit journalism vehicles, “two very significant trends in the last ten, 15 years, but they are becoming more and more intense”.

However, note that the same study of 129 donors points out that conflicts of interest exist, “but they are not serious when governments decide to help newspapers. […] When newspapers are non-profit and the government decides to do something to help journalists, these conflicts of interest are more obvious than when the initiative comes from charities such as foundations.

Linz da Silva reveals that at least 2,000 American newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. He cites a statistic that says that to solve the problems of US press outlets, US$1.75 billion is needed to cover all their deficits. And even for-profit newspapers are struggling. “So, the difficulties are enormous, but it is still good news that donations are given in large numbers, and donors say that they have never donated so much and want to donate more, so that there is a free press in the defense. Democracy,” concludes the author.

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Frontiers of Journalism
The Horizons do Journalismo column with Professor Carlos Eduardo Linz da Silva, biweekly, Mondays at 8:30 a.m., on Radio USP (São Paulo 93.7; Ribeiro Brito 107.9) and on YouTube, produced by J Radio USP and TV USP.