What We're Learning
• Experiment and evolve
• Flexible funding matters
• Harness the power of local voices
• Leverage national partnerships to bring a worldview
To achieve our vision of a place where all Wichitans thrive and belong, residents need to be connected so that they can work together and support each other’s wellbeing. They need to be able to share information and take collective and coordinated action that spurs sustained growth in our community.
We’re laying the groundwork for an engaged community through collaboration, experimentation and transformation. Evolving from Focus Forward, we strive to create a more informed city by strengthening Wichita’s local news ecosystem.
A local affiliate of Press Forward - a national initiative led by MacArthur Foundation to raise unprecedented resources to revitalize local news, spur proved models and solutions to address the local news crisis, and close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice.
The national initiative launched in September 2023 has raised more than $500 million.
Created a gathering space for journalists
Tested data-driven storytelling that engages users who are blind and visually impaired
Since 2005, approximately 2,200 local newspapers have closed, resulting in 20 percent of Americans living in news deserts with little to no reliable coverage of important local events. In Kansas, 58 counties have a single newspaper. Wichita is a city of ghost papers, meaning newsrooms have drastically reduced their operations due to sinking revenues.
Press Forward Wichita aims to center community needs, enable growth with equity and diversity of thought, ensure accessibility for all, and reconnect Wichitans with the information they need to thrive.
Since 2018, the Wichita Foundation has invested $1.95 million in local news and information initiatives, supported 15 information outlets, and unlocked $3.37 million in national funding.
More detailed information can be found in our 2023 news & info publication.
Nope. The news ecosystem is shrinking, changing and polarized. The role of philanthropy in working through these challenges is more prominent today than ever before. As a funder, WF acknowledges and respects that we don’t shape news coverage, story selection or other editorial decisions within the newsrooms we are supporting.