Washington, D.C. — The American Journalism Project (AJP) has received a $5 million gift from Quadrivium, the foundation established by Kathryn and James Murdoch in 2014. This gift marks a significant milestone in American Journalism Project’s fundraising.
Democracy is one of Quadrivium’s primary focus areas. Philanthropy, in the foundation’s view, can and should play a central role in strengthening the core elements of a healthy society, particularly those elements that contribute to an informed and engaged citizenry.
Kathryn Murdoch, president of the Quadrivium Foundation, said “having strong local journalism is key to holding government accountable. We are impressed with AJP’s track record of helping newsrooms find business models that work without compromising quality.
With this gift, Kathryn and James Murdoch have recognized the essential role of philanthropy in building a sustainable future for local news. We’re grateful for their partnership in expanding a movement that is committed to addressing this urgent problem."
Sarabeth Berman, CEO, American Journalism Project
“We encourage philanthropists who care about our democracy to consider supporting their local newsrooms,” she said.
“With this gift, Kathryn and James Murdoch have recognized the essential role of philanthropy in building a sustainable future for local news,” said Sarabeth Berman, AJP’s chief executive officer. “We’re grateful for their partnership in expanding a movement that is committed to addressing this urgent problem.”
Quadrivium’s philanthropic investment in the American Journalism Project comes at a moment of great crisis for local news providers. The pandemic contributed to what was already an increasingly dire climate for local newspapers, one in five of which folded during the last decade and a half. Thousands more journalists were laid off, furloughed or adversely affected by media consolidations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The withering of local news sources directly imperils democracy as it threatens the supply of information that citizens need to make important day-to-day decisions in communities around the country.
The American Journalism Project believes that local journalism is a necessary public good and shares Quadrivium’s commitment to a healthy, functioning democracy. AJP works to build and sustain an independent press that represents, informs and engages a diverse public. It actively supports nonprofit newsrooms, providing financial and strategic management resources for communities in need, and it helps these communities build a scalable infrastructure for long-term sustainability. The gift to AJP is Quadrivium’s first significant investment in local news.
Founded in 2014 by James and Kathryn Murdoch, Quadrivium invests in evidence-based solutions to some of society’s most urgent challenges. The Foundation was given the Latin name for “crossroads” to reflect the founders’ commitment to addressing root causes of problems, where single actions can create multiple positive outcomes. Quadrivium currently has five interrelated areas of focus: Democracy, Technology and Society, Scientific Understanding, Climate Change and Ocean Health.
About the American Journalism Project
The American Journalism Project (AJP) is committed to a vision in which an independent, resilient, and ubiquitous civic press represents, informs, and engages every member of the diverse public it serves. Founded by pioneers in nonprofit journalism, AJP is a venture-philanthropy organization that makes investments in mission-driven nonprofit local news organizations and dynamic entrepreneurs, provides strategic support, and is building a movement to reimagine the future of local news. The American Journalism Project currently supports 20 newsrooms around the country.
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American Journalism Project