Geoffrey Cowan named president of Sunnylands Trust

CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan, dean emeritus of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, has been named the first president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. The Sunnylands Trust is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating entity established by the Annenberg Foundation primarily to hold high level retreats that "address serious issues facing the nation and the world community." Sunnylands is the name of the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg's beautiful 200-acre estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The estate will serve as a venue for important meetings of top government officials and leaders from education, philanthropy, the arts, culture, science…

CCLP Report Details Growing Philanthropic Support for Journalism

Philanthropic foundations are taking unprecedented steps to address the crisis in journalism and "serve as a firewall against the disappearance of critical news and information," according to a new report from the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. The report, Philanthropic Foundations: Growing Funders of the News is authored by David Westphal, a CCLP senior fellow and former Washington editor for McClatchy Newspapers….

Bullish: Investigative reporting nonprofits

You needn't look far to find skepticism about the potential of foundations and philanthropists to bankroll the work that newspapers have long done. Conventional wisdom is that funders of nonprofits can make only a marginal difference, that the real answers will come from private sector innovators. But these skeptics aren't much found in evidence at the nation's leading investigative reporting nonprofits. The Center for Public Integrity (CPI), ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting are all on the move, all seeing growing opportunities for nonprofit investigative work, all hopeful about future funding….

Newspapers as non-profits? Tax savings but some big downsides

Given the fact that many newspapers seem headed toward nonprofit status anyway, it's perhaps not surprising that someone would try to make it official. Legislation introduced this week by Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland would enable newspapers to establish themselves as tax-exempt nonprofits and qualify for significant expense savings courtesy of Uncle Sam. Under the Cardin measure, they wouldn't have to pay income taxes on income derived from advertising sales. That's a big difference from existing IRS regulations, which customarily extract federal income taxes on advertising revenue derived by nonprofits. (There are a number of exceptions to this, including one…