Ford backs for-profit newsroom

A recent Ford Foundation grant to the Los Angeles Times highlights the heightened competition pubcasters face for philanthropic dollars in a fast-changing media world. The $1.04 million two-year grant to the newspaper, a subsidiary of the Tribune Company media conglomerate, marks the first time Ford has directly supported a major for-profit daily. The money will be used to hire staff members to cover new and expanded beats, including immigration and California’s prison system. The decision to pay for additional reporters, Ford spokesman Alfred Ironside explains in an email, resulted from the grantmaker’s exploration of “new models for sustaining quality, independent journalism that reaches more people at a time when newsrooms are under stress.” Ford is considering similar grants to other for-profit news organizations, he writes. Such developments worry observers of public broadcasting.

Alex Chadwick: Recharged to cover an energetic beat

Alex Chadwick was lost. It took a journey to an unlikely place — the whitewater rapids of a Utah canyon — for him to find his way back to radio. In 2008, Chadwick found himself absent from the airwaves for the first time in decades. He had stepped down as host of the NPR show Day to Day to return to reporting, only to be laid off a month later, an unceremonious end to 31 years at the network. He then devoted himself to caring for his wife and partner in broadcasting, Carolyn Jensen Chadwick, who was battling multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells.