Non-Profit Foundations and For Profit Newspapers

Friday, August 17, 2012


This year has seen the Ford Foundation award grants to The Washington Post and The L.A. Times, both for-profit news outlets. Bob talks to The Ford Foundation's Jonathan Barzilay and NPR's Senior Vice President for News Margaret Low Smith about navigating the relationship between grant givers and news makers. 


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Jonathan Barzilay and Margaret Low Smith

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [3]

Charles Bennington from CA

This is off topic, but I think that it is notable that Margaret Low Smith is the first person I have heard respond "you're welcome" when being thanked at the end on an interview -- on this or any other radio interview I have heard in the last few years.

Aug. 23 2012 04:16 PM

Hope to get a riposte from someone here too.

Aug. 22 2012 05:33 AM

As a taxpayer it was disturbing for me to view these "experimental grants as part of a balanced portfolio that is interested in sustaining the vital role of serious journalism in our democracy."

But instead of rushing to judgement I waited for the transcript before posting my comment. Hope to do a riposte from someone her too.

I also told a couple of friends about this story.

A non-profit like the Ford Foundation is well equipped to handle moral and ethical questions. But too often "ethics and morality" are used as synonyms. This is ambiguous and can be exploited. 

Ethics regards a wide range of relationships; morality regards one's own emotional/spiritual health; they are different, but very interdependent. Ethics is like the relationship of the planets to each other and the sun, whereas morality is equivalent to each planet revolving on its own axis. 

One friend: The analogy of the planets' interaction among themselves (ethics) vis-a-vis their own rotation around their own axis (morals) seems appropriate. If individuals revolve around a moral axis (this is often called a "moral compass") then their relations among each other will be ethical. 

Another: My thesaurus under tools shows “unethical” as a synonym for “amoral” but not for “immoral” However, “immoral” is a synonym for “amoral”! The breaking of the circle in the synonym links indicates that the issue is a bit foggy. 

So, Bob and Margaret, this is a very good experiment, in my opinion. Keep ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS.

Aug. 22 2012 05:30 AM

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