Newspack nets $5 million as part of Knight Foundation investment in local news

Grant is timed to announcement of wider $500m investment in local news ecosystem

news inscription on neon signboard hanging on street
Photo by Madison Inouye on

Newspack is among the recipients of a $15 million investment in local news that was  announced by the Knight Foundation today. 

Newspack will receive $5 million to onboard and support hundreds of small and mid-sized news publishers on the platform, while our partners at BlueLena will receive an additional $2.25 million. The grants will be administered by the Local Independent Online News Publishers organization, or LION. 

This $15 million is part of Knight’s regular annual investment in local news, which has totaled more than $600 million since 2005, including $300 million in the past three years. But Knight also announced a more substantial contribution to a broad effort to address the dwindling number of local news outlets nationwide. 

A new five-year, $500 million initiative called Press Forward also was announced today by the MacArthur Foundation. MacArthur and Knight each are contributing $150 million, and the balance is being financed by 20 other nonprofits and philanthropies, such as the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. It expects to start making grants in 2024.

The Press Forward site makes clear the problem it will address:

As local newsrooms have disappeared across America, communities have witnessed fading civic engagement, eroding social bonds, surging misinformation, and dwindling governmental accountability.

Their grant strategies will focus on four areas:

  • Strengthen local newsrooms that have trust in local communities
  • Accelerate the enabling environment for news production and dissemination
  • Close longstanding inequalities in journalism coverage and practice
  • Advance public policies that expand access to local news and civic information

You can sign up for updates, including notices about applying for future grants here.

Press Forward is being underwritten by:

Press Forward funders collage