To articulate a public interest vision for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications for solving social problems. The Benton Foundation aims to leverage media and technology in innovative ways as a means to strengthen communities.
Founded in 1948, the foundation is the legacy of William Benton (1900-1973), the founder of advertising agency Benton & Bowles and publisher of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Benton, a champion of free speech and civil liberties, also served as a U.S. senator; an ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and a vice president at the University of Chicago. The Benton Foundation is not a grantmaking organization, but instead operates its own programs related to media and technology.
After conducting Web site audits, user surveys, and a review of best practices on the Web, the Benton Foundation launched its redesigned Web site earlier this summer. The updated site provides information and subscription pages for the foundation's . The keeps subscribers informed of new developments in the media, telecommunications, and education technology sectors, and its list serves as a forum for discussions on issues related to the digital divide. The , part of the foundation's program, keeps readers informed of news, events, and funding opportunities within the context of health and public broadcasting.