Ford Foundation gives Los Angeles Times $1 million grant

Los Angeles Times
In an unusual arrangement between a foundation and a for-profit company, the Los Angeles Times announced today that it is receiving a $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation with the express purpose of widening its coverage in several areas. James Rainey reports:

A Ford Foundation spokesman said that, as media organizations face challenges funding reporting through advertising and traditional revenue streams, “we and many other funders are experimenting with new approaches to preserve and advance high-quality journalism.”

The Times will use the money to hire — hire! — journalists to: “focus on the Vietnamese, Korean and other immigrant communities, the California prison system, the border region and Brazil,” Rainey writes.

“These are vital coverage areas that have been affected by our need to make tough choices in the past decade,” Times Editor Davan Maharaj said.

In a memo to staffers, Maharaj wrote, “Although the foundation has supported research and reporting projects in the past, this grant is among its first that directly supports a private media organization. To avoid any conflict of interest, the money will be paid from a portfolio separate from the foundation’s other grant programs.”

Disclosure: The Poynter Institute is currently a Ford Foundation grantee.

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