Inland Foundation Launches Community News Grant Program

Press release | Domestic Press Foundation

The Inland Press Foundation is partnering with state press associations to launch a grant program to help newspapers strengthen their local news reporting.

The foundation is piloting the grant program in Illinois and Kansas, in partnership with the Illinois Press Association and the Kansas Press Association. If successful in these two states, the foundation hopes to expand the grant program to other states.

In January, the foundation will begin accepting applications for the Community News Grant program from daily and weekly newspapers in Kansas and Illinois. Grants will be supported for two years.

The grants will fund newspaper reporting on critical topics such as schools and education, local government, health care, the environment, and infrastructure. Domestic grants will cover half the cost of adding a reporter to a newspaper’s staff, up to a maximum of $25,000. The newspaper will pay the remaining half of this salary.

To be eligible, publications must be bona fide daily or non-daily newspapers that publish a minimum of 48 issues per year. They must have an average of at least 25% news content, with paying subscribers accounting for more than 50% of total circulation. The program will pay particular attention to independent and family newspapers.

“Good journalism is at the heart of an informed public and a healthy democracy,” said Inland Press Foundation President Marc Wilson. “We hope our grants program can help fund newsrooms at a time of great stress for the industry and the country. We hope others will join us in this crucial cause.

Tom Slaughter, executive director of the Inland Foundation, said the foundation was excited to launch the pilots in the two Midwestern states. “We are thrilled that the Inland Foundation can help support vital local journalism in Kansas and Illinois,” Slaughter said. “Both states have proud traditions of strong local newspapers, and many of them have long associations with Inland. “We are happy that this connection continues.”

Emily Bradbury, Executive Director of KPA, said, “We are grateful to the Inland Press Foundation for choosing Kansas as the pilot project for this exciting project. We are proud of our long relationship with Inland and are excited about the possibilities.

Slaughter said the foundation was excited to start the pilot project in Illinois. “The Inland Foundation was started in Illinois over 40 years ago by members of the Inland Press Association,” he said.

Don Craven, president and CEO of the Illinois Press Association, called the grant program a “significant opportunity” for Illinois newspapers. “This is just the beginning of a program that can help fill Illinois newsroom reporting positions that have been lost over the years. We are thrilled to be part of the beginning of this effort, which we hope will grow into something much bigger in the years to come.

Slaughter said donations to the Community News Grant program can be made to the Inland Press Foundation at PO Box 3790, Lawrence, KS 66046, or at Donations are tax deductible.

The Inland Press Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Illinois. For the past 40 years, the foundation has played a large and active role in organizing and funding programs to provide research and educational services to the American newspaper industry, with particular emphasis on independent and family newspapers.

The Illinois Press Association was founded in 1865 as an organization for Illinois publishers. It has become one of the largest state newspaper associations in the country, representing more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers.

The Kansas Press Association was organized in 1863 to serve and advance the interests of Kansas news publications. The association provides services to members, such as educational seminars, publications, marketing, conventions, legislative representation, and legal and technology hotlines; and customer services, including newspaper ad placement services, ad networks and press release distribution.