Scripps family extends its legacy of supporting journalism education
More than a million dollars has been granted to three pre-college initiatives
Edward W. Scripps launched a nationwide newspaper empire in 1878 with a business enterprise that would eventually be synonymous with excellence in print and broadcast journalism. Today, The E.W. Scripps Company is controlled by members of the fourth through sixth generations of E.W.’s descendants, who also run a collaborative giving effort – the Scripps Family Impact Fund (SFIF). For 2023, those descendants decided to align their joint business and philanthropic interests by using the Impact Fund to benefit the journalism industry at the core of the family’s legacy business.
“The Scripps Family Impact Fund has been wildly successful in its first five years,” said Ray Granado, who is the secretary of the SFIF board, and earlier this year joined the board of directors of The E.W. Scripps Company. “To be able to make a difference in a variety of categories, we have innovatively changed our focus areas every year – from children’s services and covid relief, to healthcare and animal welfare. We were thrilled to be able to turn our attention this year to training future journalists who mean so much to our family and its company.”
- Last winter, the Impact Fund solicited grant applications from nonprofits specializing in journalism education for middle- and high-school students. The Fund’s board selected three finalists, and Scripps family funders allocated grants as follows:
- The Indigenous Youth Media Workshop at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, a weeklong summer program teaching the “ins and outs” of broadcasting and journalism to Native American and other high school students, received $616,333.
- The Journalistic Learning Initiative of Eugene, Ore., which implements journalism strategies in classrooms to empower student voices and
academic success, received $540,333.
- The My Hero Project of Laguna Beach, Calif., which uses stories, art and media to celebrate diverse heroes and empower people of all ages to realize their own potential,
A new funding element was introduced this year by a charitable foundation established after the 2019 passing of a Texas-based family member.
“It was an easy decision for the Adam R. Scripps Foundation, in its inaugural year of distributions, to contribute to the success of the Impact Fund,” said Wesley Scripps, who is a co-chair of the SFIF board. “Adam was relentlessly supportive of his nieces and nephews, so lending financial support to his family’s collaborative giving is a natural extension of his formidable legacy. His foundation will support the Impact Fund for many years to come.”
The Scripps family contributed a total of $2,193,000 to this year’s cycle, meaning they exceeded the grant requests of the top-three organizations, with an additional $168,000 each granted to the three runners-up: National Association for Media Literacy Education, Youth Journalism International and the Community Learning Center Institute. This year’s giving brings the total granted by the Scripps Family Impact Fund since 2019 to nearly $7.5 million.
“The 10 family members of the SFIF board have developed a really nice rhythm in our first half decade of giving,” said Jaime Scripps, co-chair of the SFIF board. “We make yearly tweaks and adjustments to our process, and each time it seems the improvements are evident in the quality of the applicants and the support of the family. That will be especially important in 2024 as we turn our attention to supporting women’s issues, especially the victims of domestic violence. We expect this focus area to generate a great deal of interest from family members.”