Elspeth Revere — the MacArthur Foundation’s vice president for media, culture, and special initiatives — “puts serious money in serious hands,” writes Michael Miner. She’s approved $600,000 for the Center for Investigative Reporting; $750,000 for the Center for Public Integrity; $500,000 to ProPublica; and $1.2 million to Public Radio International. She tells Michael Miner:
One of the concerns is how journalism is going to be funded in the future now that it’s been unbundled from classified advertising and weather and movie reviews and sports scores and all those things you used to have to go to newspapers for. And when possibly promising projects come along, if they’re either national or local, we’re interested. Everybody’s trying to figure this out and nobody’s quite got the answer.
James O’Shea, whose Chicago News Cooperative, received a start-up grant of $500,000 from MacArthur and an equal grant a year later, says of Revere:
She’s tough, I’ll tell you that. She’s very businesslike, and she’s very direct with her questions, her comments, and her observations. Basically, you have to deliver for her. You can’t just think, ‘Well, I’m OK because she’s given me one grant.’ She’ll actually make you walk the walk. I have an enormous amount of respect for her.