The Institute for Journalism in New Media, created by philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest in 2016 to sustain and advance high-quality local journalism, has announced that it will operate under a new name: The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Unanimously approved by the Institute’s Board of Managers, the new name honors the Lenfest family’s bold vision and philanthropic commitment to preserving journalism, innovation and democracy on a local level in Philadelphia and across the country.
“My wife Marguerite and I are deeply humbled by the Board’s decision to recognize our commitment to local journalism in this special way,” said Lenfest. “We believe strongly in the critical importance of thoughtful, public-service reporting in an increasingly complex world. Independent and honest journalism has never been more important than it is today. We are proud to stand with the Institute in its mission. We have every confidence that it will create exciting and groundbreaking approaches to sustain and enhance quality local journalism across the United States.”
In conjunction with its renaming, the Institute has also launched its new website, www.lenfestinstitute.org. The website will be regularly updated to announce grant-making initiatives, internal programs devoted to innovative local and metropolitan journalism, and the development of new technologies and platforms to engage new audiences. Additional details about ways in which the public can support the Institute will also be forthcoming on the website.
“The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is devoted to investments in sustainable, local journalism, news innovation, and their role in the fabric of our community,” said Jim Friedlich, executive director and CEO of the Institute. “Gerry Lenfest embodies the Institute’s spirt of entrepreneurship in the service of Philadelphia and the American democracy. I’m honored to be working so closely with Gerry to support his simple but profound vision: journalism, innovation, democracy.”
Pedro A. Ramos, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation and a board member of The Lenfest Institute for Journalism commented on the Board’s decision, “The Board was thrilled that Gerry and Marguerite let us use the Lenfest name. Gerry’s vision of focusing on the challenge of the news business model and on local independent journalism really distinguishes the Lenfest Institute from other needed efforts that support journalism. The naming also serves as a permanent reminder of the strength, humility, innovation, and entrepreneurial vision that Gerry and Marguerite embody. ”