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The program has sought to expand its digital presence by producing blogs and shorter, quick-turnaround stories on the web. Journalists manage multiple Twitter accounts covering different “beats,” including national security, global economics, and the media. In 2011, Frontline hired new-media journalists to manage the program’s transition to a “post-broadcast future.” It began to move into interactive online video during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Frontline is funded primarily by nonprofit foundations and individual donors, including the MacArthur Foundation and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and membership dues from local PBS stations. In 2014, it received a $5 million grant from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler and an $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to establish a cross-platform Enterprise Journalism Group. Unlike NewsHour, its cousin in public television, Frontline does not receive corporate support.
Demand Media, founded in 2006, is an online media company that quickly grew to prominence by algorithmically assigning and publishing stories based on user-demand signals, such as search and social media trends. It typically pays authors a low sum of money for these posts, often about $15 per contribution, and assigns posts only when it believes…