Jon Funabiki, whose tenure as the Ford Foundation's program officer for journalsim and news media grantmaking outlasted the UPN network, announced recently that he will be moving to San Francisco State to teach and develop "a new center on community, ethnic and independent media." Jon's legacy at Ford is notable, and one that should be explored by someone other than myself, for I had the fortune of working with Jon for two years on East 43rd St. I am more interested in learning more about his new venture. Here's what he told Poynter's Rick Edmonds:
My work at Ford has gotten me extremely interested in what I might call "little media."…. I think there's a lot of exciting stuff going on with things like the ethnic news media, independent magazines, neighborhood radio and some of the niche-oriented, Web-based ventures. Compared to the big guys, they may be little, overlooked and struggling in the marketplace. But my hunch is that they are having a profound impact in shaping identity and a sense of community in an increasingly fragmented society.
I, for one, can't wait for Jon to get started. (I surmise that a blog is in his future…)