The , in partnership with the , has announced grants totaling $4.8 million over three years to the at Temple University to accelerate the shift to digital at news organizations across the country.
Grants of $3.3 million from Knight and $1.5 million from Lenfest will enable the university to expand the project, which was launched in October 2015 to help metropolitan daily news organizations accelerate their transition from print to digital and evolve their practices so as to reach new audiences and better engage readers and their communities. Through the project, more than fifty leaders from the , the , the , and the , which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, spent a year focused on creating plans to advance their digital transformations.
The new funding will be used to expand the project, to be renamed the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, to twelve additional newsrooms, including the , (Digital First Media), (Hearst), and (Gannett).
The second phase of the initiative also will include a collaboration with the at the , leveraging grants awarded in 2015 of $3 million from Knight and $1 million from the UNC Office of the Provost. Working with project leadership, the center will work to develop an approach to lesson dissemination focused on local and regional news organizations. To that end, it will work with eight to twelve media organizations in North Carolina, including newspapers, radio and television stations, and digital startups, to create a network of sustainable news outlets that can tackle and surmount digital-age challenges. In addition, the in St. Petersburg, Florida, will receive $880,000 in support of its efforts to assist newsrooms across the country with their digital and cultural transformations.
"We are honored and delighted by the new Knight-Lenfest partnership. The newsroom initiative has enjoyed impressive and measurable success in helping transform the news business in Philadelphia, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Miami," said Lenfest Institute executive and CEO Jim Friedlich. "Never have the stakes for local news been higher, or the need for greater investment and expertise more apparent."