The cash-strapped New York Times has begun considering nonprofit foundation funding for its newsgathering, according to a story on the Poynter Online site, which monitors news in the media industry.
Craig Whitney, an assistant managing editor at The Times who serves as the paper's standards editor, told the site in a telephone interview Friday that, "We've begun to ask ourselves whether it would be possible to get the kind of support that NPR does from foundations for its journalism."
That news comes atop a story earlier this week that a freelancer working on a ambitious environmental piece for the Times was soliciting donations online to fund a reporting excursion. Whitney told Poynter that Times editors "haven't reached any conclusions and we haven't gone to any foundations," but he said the idea of seeking broad foundation support for areas of coverage "seems conceivable."
Whitney, who has been with The Times for 44 years and expects to retire in the next few months, indicated that the paper would be careful to avoid letting foundations have a say in specific coverage and would guard against "being influenced by any particular agenda."
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