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Inland Foundation and Illinois Press Association Partner on Community News Grant Program

Inland Foundation and Illinois Press Association Partner on Community News Grant Program

The Inland Press Foundation is partnering with the Illinois Press Association to launch a grant program to help Illinois newspapers strengthen their vital local news reporting.


The Inland Foundation will begin accepting applications for the Community News Grant program from Illinois daily and nondaily newspapers on Jan. 3, 2022. The grants will be supported for two years.

The grants will fund newspaper reporting on critical topics such as schools and education, local government, health care, the environment, and infrastructure. They will cover half the cost of adding a reporter to a newspaper’s staff. The newspaper will pay the remaining half of that salary.

To be eligible, publications must be bona fide daily or non-daily newspapers in Illinois who publish a minimum of 48 issues per year. They must have an average of at least 25% news content, with paid subscribers representing more than 50% of total circulation. The program will give special consideration to independent and family-owned newspapers.

“Good journalism is at the heart of an informed public and a healthy democracy,” said Inland Press Foundation President Marc Wilson. “We hope our grant program can help fund newsrooms in a time of great stress for the industry and the country. We hope others will join us in this crucial cause.”

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In addition to the launch in Illinois, the foundation is also beginning a second pilot in Kansas. If successful in those two states, the foundation hopes to expand the grant program to other states.

Tom Slaughter, executive director of the Inland Foundation, said the Foundation was pleased to launch the pilot in Illinois. “The Inland foundation was created in Illinois more than 40 years ago by members of the Inland Press Association,” Slaughter said. He added, “The association had a long history in Illinois, tracing to its founding in Chicago more than 100 years ago.

We’re delighted that the Inland Foundation can help support local journalism here.”

Don Craven, president and CEO of the Illinois Press Association, called the grant program a “significant opportunity” for Illinois newspapers. “This is just a start of a program that can help fill reporting positions in Illinois newsrooms that have been lost over the years. We’re excited to be a part of the beginning of this effort, which we hope grows into something much bigger in the coming years.”

Slaughter said donations to the Community News Grant program may be made to the Inland Press Foundation at P.O. Box 3790, Lawrence, KS 66046, or to Donations are tax-deductible.

The Inland Press Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in Illinois. Over the last 40 years, the foundation has played a prominent and active role in organizing and funding programs to provide research and educational services to the American newspaper industry, with a special focus on independent and family-owned newspapers.

The Illinois Press Association

The IPA was founded in 1865 as an organization for Illinois publishers. It has evolved into one of the largest state newspaper associations in the country representing more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers.

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