For Santa Barbara County residents looking for deeper local community news coverage, the Santa Barbara Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have a provisional answer.
A two-year, $500,000 matching grant will fund the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative, a nonprofit news gathering and reporting effort modeled in part on programs that are popping up in cities around the country.
The nonprofit, online model is promising but unproven territory, and it’s not clear whether these operations can gain a permanent place in the media lineup.
But giving credit to where it is due, former News-Press reporter Melinda Burns, retired UC Santa Barbara professor Richard Flacks and community advocate Hap Freund worked many hours to get the program funded.
The Fund for Santa Barbara, the Bowers and McCune Foundations and Sara Miller McCune have been generous in providing funding and in-kind support.