The San Antonio Area Foundation is now part of a national philanthropic effort meant to ensure our community continues to be home to a thriving, robust local news environment.

As announced today in Miami in conjunction with The Miami Foundation and the Knight Foundation, the San Antonio Area Foundation becomes today one of 11 new local hubs for Press Forward, the national movement investing more than $500 million to strengthen communities and local news.

The new chapters – Colorado, Lancaster, Pa., Lexington, Ky., Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, South Florida, and Wyoming – bring the total of Press Forward Locals to 17, close to tripling the total number. 

Press Forward Locals bring together new donors and foundations to expand the resources for local news. These chapters are an opportunity for funders to create place-based initiatives, driven by the specific information needs of their communities. The new chapters join established Press Forward Locals in Alaska, Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Springfield, Ill. and Wichita.

“San Antonio is not immune to the unfortunate trend involving the weakening or loss of robust, reliable local sources of news and information,” noted Lisa Brunsvold, Interim CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation. 

“As our regional philanthropic leader working to close opportunity gaps for those who need it most, we seek to leverage local funding with national support through Press Forward to ensure a continued vibrant and diverse local journalism sector to help our community remain well-informed and civically engaged,” Brunsvold added.

Maribel Pérez Wadsworth, President and CEO of Knight Foundation, and John Palfrey, President of MacArthur Foundation, made the announcement at the Knight Media Forum, the premiere gathering of leaders in media and philanthropy dedicated to fostering more informed and engaged communities.

“The challenge of rebuilding America’s local news landscape is vast and will depend on multi-layered solutions at the local and national level,” said Dale Anglin, Press Forward Director. “Press Forward Locals are critical to our success. These leaders are closest to their communities and can identify authentic approaches for their cities and states.”

Press Forward offers Locals a suite of support to help them succeed. For example, the initiative also announced Wednesday that Press Forward Locals can now apply up to $250,000 in Catalyst Funds to accelerate their work.

“With these Catalyst Funds, Press Forward wants to fuel the movement on the ground, and help these chapters grow faster,” said Dale Anglin, Director, Press Forward. “Over time, these chapters will be building solutions that others across the country can learn from.”

In addition to funding, Press Forward offers local chapters technical assistance, including coaching and training, and peer networks to cultivate shared learning.

Each chapter has a lead funder, and the new additions include: Colorado (Gates Family Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation), Lancaster, Pa. (The Steinman Foundation) Lexington, Ky. (Blue Grass Community Foundation), Mississippi (CREATE Foundation), New Jersey (New Jersey Civic Information Consortium), New Mexico (Thornburg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund), North Carolina (North Carolina Local News Lab Fund) Pittsburgh (Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University) San Antonio (San Antonio Area Foundation), South Florida (The Miami Foundation) and Wyoming (Wyoming Community Foundation)