Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism recognizes that the value of its work depends on commitment to journalistic values and the editorial independence of its editors and reporters.
In seeking and accepting financial support, Alabama Initiative will follow practices that protect these values. The organization will:
- Identify all donors and sponsors.
- Assure that donors and sponsors have no role in assigning, writing or editing content.
- Refuse financial contributions from sources deemed by the board of directors to present a real or perceived conflict of interest with the work of the organization or raise reasonable questions about Alabama Initiative’s independence.
Alabama Initiative will not accept contributions from government entities, excluding foundations and educational institutions; political parties, elected officials or active candidates for public office. It will be cautious about support from individuals or groups whose primary purpose may be to bring about particular public policies. All grants, other contributions and partnerships are subject to review for acceptance of AIIJ journalism standards.
The organization will aim for a diverse group of contributors and seek funding from foundations, organizations and individuals concerned about quality journalism in general and public service journalism especially. It will also seek support of reporting in areas of special interest established in its mission statement: government performance and transparency, education, the environment and economic development and opportunity.
In developing sources of revenue other than grants and donations, Alabama Initiative will continue to apply the standards of assuring journalistic quality and independence and avoiding the reality or appearance of undue influence. Alabama Initiative staff leaders may propose, and the board of directors may adopt, specific written procedures needed to uphold standards as fundraising questions arise.
Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism developed this statement of fundraising and donor policy guided by membership standards of the Institute for Nonprofit News and using material from Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, The Lens, and Investigative Post.