Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group Commits $5 Million In New Investments to the Press Forward Initiative to Strengthen Local Journalism
Sep 7, 2023
ST. PAUL, Sept. 7, 2023- Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group (APMG) is proud to announce it is joining a coalition of 22 funders across the United States to launch Press Forward, a groundbreaking national initiative aimed at revitalizing and empowering local journalism. As part of this strategic alliance, Glen Nelson Center is committing $5 million in new investments in media companies with a focus on local journalism over the next five years.
Press Forward will enhance local journalism at an unprecedented level to re-center local news as a force for community cohesion; support new models and solutions that are ready to scale; and close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice. The coalition of funders has committed more than a half-billion dollars to the initiative over five years.
"At American Public Media Group, we are dedicated to the transformative potential of local journalism and the absolute necessity of strong local news organization as a force for community strength and connection," said Jean Taylor, CEO of APMG. "Our commitment to Press Forward is one of the ways APMG is investing in media innovation and the future of public media."
Launched in 2018, Glen Nelson Center invests in promising media startups, leading to powerful learning and business development opportunities for APMG while delivering a financial return. To date, Glen Nelson Center has supported the work of 600+ ventures through investments, competitions and incubator/accelerator programs including the Next Challenge for Media & Journalism, the largest media startup competition in the U.S.
"We are at a crossroads for local journalism in the United States,” said Jeff Freeland Nelson, Executive Director of the Glen Nelson Center. "Either we accept the slow decline of local news and collapse of long-standing media business models or champion innovation and foster resilience through investments in new models for providing the high-quality local news our communities need.”
Since 2005, approximately 2,200 local newspapers have closed, resulting in 20 percent of Americans living in “news deserts” with little to no reliable coverage of important local events. Press Forward seeks to reverse the dramatic decline in local news that has coincided with an increasingly divided America and weakening trust in institutions.
“We have a moment to support the reimagination, revitalization, and rapid development of local news. We are prepared to support the strongest ideas and seed new ones; build powerful networks; and invest in people, organizations, and networks with substantial resources,” said John Palfrey, President of the MacArthur Foundation and a leader of the Press Forward initiative. “The philanthropic sector recognizes the need to strengthen American democracy and is beginning to see that progress on every other issue, from education and healthcare to criminal justice reform and climate change, is dependent on the public’s understanding of the facts.”
Initial Press Forward partners are The Archewell Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation, Mary W. Graham, Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group, Heising-Simons Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Joyce Foundation, KFF, Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Lumina Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Outrider Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Skyline Foundation, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
About American Public Media Group
American Public Media Group (APMG) is the largest station-based public radio organization in the U.S., combining multi-regional station operations, national programming creation and distribution and innovative digital, social and mobile services in one organization. APMG’s operations include Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR®), a 46-station network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states. MPR and its three regional services –MPR News, YourClassical MPR and The Current –produce programming for radio, digital and live audiences. APMG is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world and reaches nearly 17 million listeners with 1,000 public radio stations and over 400 commercial stations nationwide each week. APMG’s national portfolio includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, APM Studios, and the leading classical music programming in the nation, YourClassical. APMG also includes Southern California Public Radio, a four-station network serving Los Angeles, Orange County, Coachella Valley, and the Inland Empire. For more information – or to become a member and support APMG efforts to reimagine the future of public radio, visit americanpublicmediagroup.org.
About Glen Nelson Center
Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group (APMG) invests in promising media startups, leading to powerful learning and business development opportunities for APMG while delivering a financial return. To date, Glen Nelson Center has supported the work of 600+ ventures through investments, competitions, and incubator/accelerator programs. Programs at Glen Nelson Center include the Horizon Fund, which makes direct investments in promising media startups, the Next Challenge for Media & Journalism, the largest media startup competition in the United States, and Kling Innovation Grants, an internal grantmaking program at APMG.