We knew the future of independent journalism would involve a rethinking of revenue. The initial impetus for this convening was Bill Moyers’ musing that our democracy would be profoundly strengthened if large foundations could devote a tiny fraction of their budgets to a trust fund for independent journalism.
Moyers has been a longtime champion of feisty journalism free from the influence of government, corporations and other big money interests — the basic definition of independent journalism.
So while his idea of a trust fund was somewhat utopian, it led us to ponder the urgent question of how to help this sector survive and grow during these troubling economic times. Further, with mainstream media undergoing a radical reshaping, we had to ask what role independent journalism should and could play in the evolving news and information ecosystem.