Journalism’s New Patrons: Guardian shows how newspapers could attract philanthropy

[Commentary] An intensified search for philanthropy by the UK-based Guardian Media Group has touched off an experiment that could provide a new revenue source for American newspapers. A newly created U.S. nonprofit, theguardian.org, has already raised $2.4 million in foundation gifts and pledges, and has sent some of that money to the Guardian news operations to finance five journalism initiatives. The Guardian differs from most American newspapers in that it is owned by a trust that returns all profits to the news organization. Yet there is no legal reason why newspapers and other for-profit news organizations couldn’t replicate the Guardian’s approach to seeking philanthropic support, says Jeff Hermes, deputy director of the Media Law Resource Center.

[David Westphal is a senior fellow at the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.]


Journalism’s New Patrons: Guardian shows how newspapers could attract philanthropy