Dozens of news organizations survive on more than sheer determination to provide neighborhood news. Photo taken from Center for Journalism & Liberty.

This report was written by Tom Davidson for The Center for Journalism & Liberty, originally published Jan. 5, 2021, and is republished here with permission.

When a veteran Maryland legislator was sentenced to prison on bribery charges in late July, the story led the home pages of the usual journalism heavyweights of Baltimore: The Baltimore Sun, dominant television broadcaster WBAL, a couple other television-news organizations.

But reporters from lesser known publications, namely Baltimore Brew, Maryland Matters and Baltimore Fishbowl, detailed efforts by prosecutors who charged Rep. …


By Sue Cross, Executive Director & CEO, Institute for Nonprofit News

By SevenMaps / Shutterstock

From Eden Prairie, Minnesota, here’s the happiest journalism news of the new year: Eden Prairie is saving its local news, one year after a hedge fund bought the local newspaper and promptly closed it.

Some 65,000 people live in this farm town turned suburb, on the rolling bluffs where the prairie begins, fifteen miles southwest of Minneapolis overlooking the Minnesota River. On February 5th last year, Alden Global Capital bought Eden Prairie’s local weekly paper, The Eden Prairie News. Two months later, Alden announced its closure. …


During a time where journalism, on the whole, has declined, visual journalism has been hit the hardest. Over the last 10 years, the number of visual journalists has declined by 52%, more than any other newsroom staff members.

Without visual journalism, there’s no representation of the communities local newsrooms cover. It’s harder to make an emotional connection that ties a reader to the triumphs and turmoils of someone else’s life.

Now, picture this: A media landscape with consistently powerful visual journalism that represents all communities respectfully. That’s what INN member CatchLight is envisioning with its program, CatchLight Local.

“Images are…


By Sue Cross, executive director and CEO | Institute for Nonprofit News

SkyPics Studio/Shutterstock.com

We’re awash this year in a sea of propaganda and misinformation. Fake news sites, false reports, news-like stories selected and spun not to make us smarter, but to make us hate, to steer us toward supporting someone else’s cause.

Recent reports sound a tsunami alert to the rising tide of the fake and the false. According to The New York Times, at least 1,300 political propaganda sites have sprung up — mimicking local news but serving up spin directed by PR and political operatives far from the hometowns…


By Fran Scarlett, Chief Knowledge Officer, INN

I left journalism 12 years ago, one of many “leavers” who had become disenchanted with the industry. I came back four years ago to join the Institute for Nonprofit News as its Chief Knowledge Officer in charge of programming and events that help INN members learn from experts and from each other as nonprofit news leaders. I was excited to see journalism presented as a public service — a different kind of journalism that is intentional about serving everyone, not just the information needs of the few. …


To add to the many struggles of life during a pandemic, the collapse, or absence, of local news means that too many communities do not have access to the information they need to combat COVID-19. According to the Brookings Institution, more than half of U.S. counties with COVID cases — 57 percent — had no daily newspaper as of April 2020. This situation is especially prevalent in rural areas and for communities of color.

Across the country, some 1,800 communities exist in these “news deserts,” with zero local news sources. And resources are dwindling in areas where local news sources…


Elizabeth Hambuchen / Mississippi Today

Originally posted on NewsMatch’s Medium page by Kip Dooley

This month, NewsMatch kicks off its fifth funding cycle with the goal of helping scores of nonprofit newsrooms continue to inform their communities and provide in-depth coverage of critical social issues. Results from the 2019 NewsMatch cycle, published for the first time today, show that it was the most successful to date, with an initial pool of $3.37 million in philanthropic funds leveraged into a $43.5 million payout — a nearly 1,200% return on philanthropic investments that infused much-needed cash into independent newsrooms just as the coronavirus disrupted business as usual.


By: Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Police and firefighters. Health care providers. Food producers. News reporters?

When the federal government included news publishers and journalists in its list of “essential workers” critical to public safety in the coronavirus crisis, it reflected what people looking for trustworthy news know now more than ever: Reporting the news is a public service.

On May 5, the folks behind GivingTuesday launched #GivingTuesdayNow — a special day of giving to support nonprofits during the pandemic — and for the first time they suggested that people give to nonprofit…


People gather outside Shaw’s Metro PCS in support of the store being able to crank go-go again. Photo credit: Rachel Kurzius / DCist

The MetroPCS store in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. is well-known locally for the go-go music blasting outside its doors for more than 20 years. When rumors that the store was shutting off the music resounded on social media in early April (hashtag #DontMuteDC), the DCist staff knew they had a story to pursue.

Reporter Rachel Kurzius confirmed with the store owner that its parent company, T-Mobile, had instructed him to stop playing music outside in response to a complaint from a nearby resident. She said the story generated “tremendous traffic” to the DCist site, and was amplified by…


Series illustration by Mariano Santillan of Carolina Public Press

North Carolina was the only state with the “rape law loophole” — legally, consent couldn’t be taken back once given. And if a survivor were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the assault wouldn’t be considered a rape. Now, thanks to a Carolina Public Press-led collaboration among 11 TV, radio, digital and print newsrooms across North Carolina, laws that opponents called “archaic” have been reformed.

The story originated when Carolina Public Press Executive Director and Editor Angie Newsome heard in a casual conversation that a district attorney wasn’t prosecuting any sexual assault cases. She wanted to know if that…

Institute for Nonprofit News

INN strengthens and supports more than 300 news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. inn.org

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