Insider Louisville snags big grant from Brown Foundation to supp - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Insider Louisville snags big grant from Brown Foundation to support nonprofit news operation

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David Jones Jr., shown in 2015 when he was a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education David Jones Jr., shown in 2015 when he was a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Insider Media Group, the nonprofit organization behind Insider Louisville, has secured a $500,000 grant from Louisville’s James Graham Brown Foundation to support the digital newsroom’s operations in 2018.

Meanwhile the fledgling nonprofit organization has obtained additional “commitments from individuals” totaling “slightly more” than the Brown Foundation grant, according to Insider Media Group chairman David Jones Jr.

“Together these gifts speak volumes about the hunger for real local news in our community, and the willingness of big donors to help bridge the path toward a sustainable community newsroom,” Jones said in a Feb. 26 email, a copy of which was obtained by WDRB News. 

Jones addressed the email to the former shareholders of Insider Louisville, LLC, the for-profit predecessor of Insider Media Group.

In a phone interview Thursday, Jones said the Brown Foundation grant is "a validation by a really important local institution" of Insider Media's mission to beef up quality, local reporting on a daily basis.

"There are not as many reporters covering civic beats regularly as there had been," Jones said.

Founded in 2010, Insider Louisville said in December that its investors had decided to convert the organization to nonprofit status “to be more sustainable and effective and (create) even greater transparency in its reporting and practices.”

In an op-ed in December, Jones said the group’s investors concluded that Insider Louisville was not viable as a commercial business. “You can’t make money publishing real local news,” he said.

The Brown Foundation, one of the biggest philanthropic groups in Louisville with a $322 million endowment, confirms the Insider Louisville grant on its website.

Jones told the former investors in the February email that the Brown Foundation grant comes “with potential to apply for additional funding as our plan rolls out.”

“All told, a good start after approximately three months as a non-profit,” he wrote.

Here is a copy of the email:

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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