Confronting the Coming World


Last week, Forum Communications Manager Dan Brady attended the Communications Network conference in New Orleans and participated in their blog team. In his post on the Communications Network blog, Dan draws lessons from the plenary speakers’ experience in journalism to find an uplifting truth about philanthropy:

During his plenary, David Simon of “The Wire” and “Treme” told a story about working in the Baltimore Sun newsroom at the advent of the internet. He described an editor telling writers how kids would “surf the web” and upon finding the Baltimore Sun’s website, they’d discover that they loved newspapers and start buying them.

The assumptions behind that business model for newspapers in the digital age were, of course, hopelessly flawed. Ken Auletta of The New Yorker echoed Simon’s take on the collapse of the newspaper industry saying, “Traditional media didn’t confront the coming world.” It failed to invest in engineers, web developers, and others who could provide the underpinning platform for the news outlets of the Twenty-first century.

These comments got me thinking about how philanthropy takes change head-on. From the rise of digital culture to shifting demographics, our world is always changing. Foundations and the non-profits they support are at the forefront, trying to make sense of it all, finding new ways to navigate issues.

Read all the posts from the Communications Network conference.

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