The Institute has been able to conduct a wide range of activities and have a national and even international impact (for details click here) because of support from individuals, foundations, the University of Kentucky and a state match. That match will expire July 11, all too soon because of poor economic conditions in the nation and even worse conditions in the news business, from which we had hoped to gain most of our support. Perhaps ironically, the financial squeeze on metropolitan newspapers and other changes in the news media have made all the more important the Institute’s vision of helping rural America through journalism, because most major papers and broadcast outlets have abandoned coverage of rural areas. That has left a vacuum that rural news media must fill, covering issues and setting the public agenda in their communities. The Institute helps them do that with the blog, its website and its network of academic partners at 28 universities in 18 states, from Maine to Texas to Alaska. For recent details on that work, click here.
But we are well short of matching the state money, so unless a last-minute angel can approximately double what we have raised already, we will get less annual income from the endowment. That means we will have to reduce our activities and/or rely more on funders with specific issue agendas. You can help ensure the Institute's independence and future work by giving to its endowment. You may send a check to us at 122 Grehan Bldg., UK, Lexington KY 40506-0042, made out to the University of Kentucky with "Rural Journalism" on the memo line, and mail it in time for us to get it by July 11. Or, you may donate online at https://giveto.uky.edu/CIS_p/cis.htm. Go to the gift-designation box and select "Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues Endowed Fund for Excellence." Thanks for your consideration and support.
--Al Cross, director, IRJCI, and associate extension professor, School of Journalism and Telecommunications, University of Kentucky