The True Cost of Holding Leaders Accountable
A year ago, Mother Jones published a groundbreaking piece providing a rare and harrowing inside look at the private prison industry. Their reporter, Shane Bauer, had spent four months undercover working at a private prison at great risk and expense. The story prompted the Obama Department of Justice to cut ties with a number of private prison companies (a move later rescinded by President Trump’s DOJ). After the fact, Mother Jones’s CEO, Monika Bauerlein, and editor in chief, Clara Jeffery, wrote that the story cost at least $350,000, and the ads on Mother Jone’s website brought in roughly $5,000. Since Bauer’s story ran in Mother Jones, the magazine has seen a boost in monthly sustaining donors.
If we care about this kind of journalism, it’s up to us to ensure its survival. Giving Tuesday encourages people to support the causes that matter to them, and #GivingNewsDay is a reminder that quality journalism shines a spotlight on those issues every day.
News Match was created to help nonprofit newsrooms reach new readers and foster a community of donors. Democracy Fund, the MacArthur Foundation and Knight Foundation created a $3 million dollar fund to match donations to more than 100 nonprofit newsrooms before the end of 2017. Since then new funders have stepped up to join the News Match effort. At NewsMatch.org you can search by location or topic to find trustworthy reporting and with one donation give to as many newsrooms as you want.
You could support The War Horse, whose reporting on sexual harassment in the Marines led to congressional and federal investigations that eventually changed military law. You could support WyoFile which documented how a coal magnate and the son of a Wyoming senator misappropriated stimulus funds. Or you could support Bridge Magazine who showed how segregation has become a side effect of the school choice policies that Betsy DeVos championed in Michigan.
What matters is that you find the journalism that matters to you and support it. Without you, these stories and hundreds of others like them would go untold.
Your donations will help fuel quality reporting and ensure journalists can shine a light on the issues that matter most to our communities and our democracy. For hard-hitting journalism to survive we need a new social contract between newsrooms and communities. Both journalists and the public will need to step up and do things differently, and nonprofits are on the front lines of rebuilding the free press in America and restoring trust in the news media
Now they need your help.