Posts filed under ‘Journalism’

Headline Oversells Social Media Angle

The Nonprofit Quarterly reports how Missouri Foundation for Health is using social media to reach grantees following the devastating Joplin tornadoes.

In fact, because communications are so spotty since the storm hit, the foundation is still unsure of the fate of some of their grantees – small clinics, domestic violence programs, and behavioral health facilities – that were in the path of the tornado. Since early Monday morning the foundation has tried hard to make sure that all grantees – and even non-grantees – know that they are ready and willing to make emergency grants to them for health related needs.

Well, the foundation is talking with different elected officials via Twitter. Other than that, we didn’t see much information in the story itself about social media. However, it’s a good report indicating the difficulties faced by those responding to the Missouri tornadoes.

May 25, 2011 at 5:57 PM Leave a comment

Gates Foundation Head Interviewed

The Chronicle of Philanthropy interviews Gates Foundation CEO Jeffrey Raikes, who outlines the mega-foundation’s giving plans for 2011.

The world’s largest philanthropy donated $2.6-billion last year, compared with $3-billion in 2009, because program officers decided to hold off on distributing about $500-million in grants. That money is now available for 2011…Mr. Raikes said he expected that the Seattle foundation’s grant budget would be about $3.5-billion this year.

Also interesting is information on the foundation’s support for journalism: they’ve made grants to ABC News and the UK newspaper the Guardian to support “reporting on global health and other causes that Gates supports.”

The article mentions in passing the unsurprising fact that many have criticized this practice, wondering how reporting on specific topics can remain objective when an interested party like the Gates Foundation is paying for it. Raikes poo-poos the concern but it is troubling. Philanthropy’s effectiveness can improve only through truly objective measures of each effort’s successes and failures.

March 11, 2011 at 6:39 PM Leave a comment

Business Insider Asks the Tough Questions

Repeatedly, if necessary: Can Corporate Social Responsibility Really Matter? Really?

Moving forward, it’s not that difficult to predict the future of CSR.

Are you sure?

If a company is contributing to the growth of a society and its customers are continuing to have faith in a brand then…we got ourselves a win-win situation here!

No, seriously, for real?

More enthusiasm than cogency at the link, I’m afraid.

January 18, 2011 at 8:56 PM Leave a comment

From Haiti to Hollis

On the first anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, the New York Times describes how many Haitians have found sanctuary in Hollis, Queens.

The article is one in the Times’s Neediest Cases series, which profiles various needy people and directs contributions to New York area nonprofits. More here.

January 12, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Real Trend, or Shaferian Bogus Trend?

The new trend in corporate philanthropy: giving books. It’s a transcript of a radio report from public radio’s Marketplace.

Slate’s Jack Shafer writes a series of often funny columns highlighting “bogus trend” stories, where journalists desperate for copy “extrapolat[e] a national trend from the narrowest of journalistic findings.”

Marketplace offers several examples of books being given, but one wonders whether these efforts really constitute a “trend,” rather than just a nice idea.

December 7, 2010 at 6:25 AM

Is Crowdsourcing Anything?

This blog post from Forbes’s corporate social responsibility blog is a very good example of writing that is not good.

The headline contains four nouns:

  • Citizens Market
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Shoppers
  • Responsible companies

None of these four nouns are linked to one another, explained, or even mentioned in the first three paragraphs of the article.

December 1, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Indian Billionaire Joins Buffett, Gates(?)

The chairman of Wipro Ltd., an Indian company focusing on IT and computer related technologies, transfers billions in shares to a trust to fund philanthropic work in India “after Warren Buffett urged billionaires to give more of their wealth,” Bloomberg reports.

Actually, the lede suggests a cause-effect relationship for which the article itself provides no evidence.

More vague journalism: “Gates said in Beijing on Sept. 30 he may attend a philanthropy event in India in 2011.”

In related news, Johnson said on Nov. 3 he might walk to 9th Avenue and get a sandwich from that one deli.

December 1, 2010 at 9:46 PM


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