The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund works to empower local news organizations to build trust with their audiences while producing outstanding journalism and developing new revenue streams that can enable them to reach long-term business sustainability.

Together, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism invested $20 million to support the fund from its founding in 2019.

 Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program

The Table Stakes program advances innovations in local journalism through intensive change-management training for news leaders. Participants learn key skills needed for news publishers to thrive in the digital era. The metaphor of “table stakes” alludes to the capacities publishers must have to be “in the game” of contemporary news publishing, and the program identifies specific skills and abilities news organizations must master to thrive.

Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange

The Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange is a community-grounded accelerator program supporting BIPOC media entrepreneurs through training, one-on-one coaching, and grantmaking.

The Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange focuses specifically on the urgent need and opportunity to support and advance more media entrepreneurs of color to ensure communities prosper and news businesses thrive and grow sustainably on their own terms.

PMFE entrepreneurs

The Plug and WURD Philadelphia Partnership

The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund is supporting The Plug and WURD with a two-year, $300,000 grant to fund an expansion of reporting and documentation efforts covering Philadelphia’s BIPOC technology and innovation sector. The goal of the collaboration is to produce thoughtful and explanatory journalism, topical radio segments, and virtual events connecting local leaders and innovators using both organizations’ platforms.

WHYY’s News & Information Community Exchange (N.I.C.E.)

The Knight-Lenfest Fund initiated N.I.C.E. as a collaboration between WHYY and community partners to organize, support, and develop a network of grassroots news and information content creators in Philadelphia. Led by a team that reflects community diversity, N.I.C.E. and its partners share coverage, sources, expertise, and audiences. 

The inaugural N.I.C.E. partners

News Catalyst

News Catalyst provides tools, fosters collaboration, and promotes experimentation to help news organizations transform into sustainable digital businesses. It focuses on historically underdeveloped aspects of newsrooms such as product development, data, analytics, digital storytelling, mobile and engagement.

Beyond Print

Beyond Print is a program created by the American Press Institute and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism to help guide publishers away from print-centric revenue models toward a sustainable digital future. The new initiative will allow news organizations to review their dependence on print revenues and create digital-first products and workflows.

The Fund is led by Director Diana Lu, who is based at the Lenfest Institute’s Philadelphia office.