Journalism requires new business models, powerful innovations and diverse audiences. The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is working throughout local news ecosystems, in Philadelphia and beyond, to crack the code on a sustainable future for this vital resource.
The Lenfest Institute was founded in 2016 by the late cable television entrepreneur H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest. Lenfest gifted to the Institute an initial endowment of $20 million, which has since been supplemented by other donors, for investment in innovative news initiatives, new technology, and new models for sustainable journalism. Lenfest also gifted his ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer to the Institute.
The Inquirer is now the largest newspaper in America operated as a public-benefit corporation. The Institute’s ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer—which covers one of the largest, most diverse metro regions in the country—is the cornerstone of its enthusiastic investment in local news and the need to act decisively in all that we undertake.
The Lenfest Institute is an innovator and a change agent developing scalable solutions across Philadelphia’s news ecosystem that apply nationwide. Starting at home, The Lenfest Institute is building viable, replicable models for sustainable local news enterprises across the country through its three core focus areas:
Quality, in-depth reporting remains the fundamental value proposition between local news organizations and their audiences. The Lenfest Institute invests in indispensable, public-benefit journalism for the communities it serves.
News Technology & Innovation
To survive and to thrive, local news enterprises must be nimble, tech-enabled and committed to constant innovation. Investing in the technical muscle of news organizations and introducing new tools improve customer experience, audience engagement, and operational efficiency, all key to business sustainability.
Diverse, Growing Audiences
Diverse and inclusive newsrooms attract diverse and growing audiences. Our investments in newsroom diversity, community listening projects, and multi-cultural news media address one of journalism’s biggest challenges and one of its greatest opportunities.