AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA’S Being RECEIVES MAJOR FUNDING FROM THE FORD FOUNDATION

Contact: Connie Molby
(651) 290-1113
cmolby@americanpublicmedia.org
www.americanpublicmedia.org

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA’S Being RECEIVES MAJOR FUNDING FROM THE FORD FOUNDATION

(St. Paul, Minn.) July 7, 2005 – In recognition of its extraordinary achievement as public radio’s national conversation on belief, meaning and ethics, the American Public Media program Being has been awarded a $275,000 grant from the Ford Foundation’s Religion and Culture Initiative. The funds will support production of radio and Internet programming that illuminates the many dynamics of religious pluralism in the United States and internationally.

Constance Buchanan, senior program officer for Religion at the Ford Foundation, said of Being‘s ground-breaking coverage of religion and ethics in public life: “We are proud to support Being, which each week brings to public radio something all too rare – thoughtful, in-depth discussion of questions of meaning and morality that enrich the national debate about religion and values. By featuring familiar as well as new voices, the program helps us learn about the diverse theological and ethical traditions that are changing America’s religious landscape, and takes us deeper into the variety of ways we and others make sense of our lives, society and the universe.”

Being recently celebrated its second year of weekly, national production. The program is carried on 116 stations nationwide, including eight of the top 10 radio markets.

The program’s creator and host, Krista Tippett, said the Ford Foundation grant will allow Being to cover a wider range of both domestic and international topics and issues, and that support from Ford is particularly meaningful at this stage in the program’s development: “Our goal has been to create a new model of journalism about religion and ethics that introduces exciting and unfamiliar voices to the public discussion, demonstrates that intelligent conversation is possible on some of the most contentious issues before us, and illuminates the complexity of religion in American life and the world. This significant support from the Ford Foundation is extremely gratifying.”

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has been a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide, guided by its goals of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Russia.

American Public Media(tm) is the nation’s second-biggest producer of public radio programs, reaching 14.7 million listeners nationwide each week. National programs include A Prairie Home CompanionÆ, Weekend AmericaÆ, Saint Paul SundayÆ, MarketplaceÆ, Marketplace MoneyÆ, The Splendid TableÆ, BeingÆ and special reports produced by its national documentary unit, American RadioWorksÆ. American Public Media is the national production and distribution division of Minnesota Public RadioÆ. Minnesota Public Radio, along with its sister company Southern California Public Radio, belongs to a larger family of companies within American Public Media Group, a national nonprofit organization whose purpose is to develop resources, services and systems to support public media for public service. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be obtained at www.americanpublicmedia.org.

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Source: Data are copyright Arbitron, Inc. Arbitron data are estimates only. Fall 2004