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New York Times Considers Foundation Funding for News
Jul 17, 2009; Washington Post | Remember the days when the New York Times had a foundation that gave grants
to groups that covered the news (including, in full disclosure, this author’s former organization, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy)? Here’s a report about the Times seriously considering seeking foundation funding to support some of its emerging stories and investigations. According to Poynter, a retiring assistant managing editor said, “‘we haven’t gone to any foundations,’ but he said the idea of seeking broad foundation support for areas of coverage ‘seems conceivable.'” The economy is the driver, and foundations, even with massive declines in their endowments, have capital. According to the NYT source, “the paper would be careful to avoid letting foundations have a say in specific coverage and would guard against ‘being influenced by any particular agenda.'” You bet. Welcome to the world of foundation funding, Gray Lady.   —Rick Cohen

California Reaches Budget Deal, With Billions Cut’
Jul 20, 2009; New York Times | We’ve seen this in California before and it’s emerging in other states: state legislators are broadly hinting that foundations might be able to plug holes in program budgets. As reported by the Times, “While the state’s health insurance program for children, Healthy Families, remains, it was cut by $144 million, meaning thousands of children will probably be on a waiting list for the program unless a private foundation makes up the balance, as the Democratic-controlled Legislature hopes.” We recall this some years ago regarding employment training programs in California and more recently here on the East Coast in one state’s thinking about funding, like California, health care programs. Expect more of this. —Rick Cohen

Don’t Cry ‘Katrina’
Jul 21, 2009; Planning Resource
| Don’t cry for me, Hurricane Katrina, says Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
(R-TN).  She’s a little concerned about calling Katrina or any other ol’ hurricane an emergency that warrants “exra spending.”  At least in her case, we know that some of Evita’s lyrics apply to Marshita: Have I said too much?
There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you. But all you have to do is look at me to know That every word is true. I’m sure the millions of people throughout the Gulf Coast feels so much better to know that Congresswoman Blackburn is watching out for them. —Rick Cohen

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