BirminghamWatch has been selected to participate in News Match 2017, a $3 million program to support nonprofit and investigative news organizations.
News Match is a collaboration of the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It is the largest grassroots fundraising campaign to support nonprofit news organizations that play a vital role informing the public and holding those in power accountable.
BirminghamWatch, the news reporting arm of the Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism, is one of 110 news organizations participating in News Match. Each of the organizations is eligible to receive up to $28,000 to match individual donations of up to $1,000 received through Dec. 31.
“At a time when trust in media is at an all-time low, nonprofit journalism organizations are directly connecting with people to understand their needs and concerns, while providing vital news and information to communities across the nation,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “This initiative will help news organizations that are imperative to our democracy build resources and widen their supporter base, just when they need it most.”
The Knight Foundation launched News Match in 2016, helping 57 nonprofit news organizations that year to raise more than $1.2 million in match donations. This year’s program – in partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub, Democracy Fund, Knight Foundation and MacArthur Foundation – will nearly triple the amount available as matching funds for the news organizations. In total, more than $3 million has been pledged to support state and local news, investigative reporting and engaged journalism.
“We want 2017 to be a record-setting year for donations to news to ensure that innovative, nonprofit newsrooms have the resources they need to deliver high-quality reporting to the communities they serve,” said Josh Stearns, associate director for the Public Square program at Democracy Fund. “News Match comes at a time when journalists are facing a perfect storm of economic challenges and political attacks. A robust, independent press is essential to fostering an informed and engaged public and vital for a healthy democracy.”
Nonprofit newsrooms, including BirminghamWatch, depend on donations from their communities to produce public-interest news. In the past two decades, newsrooms have lost more than 24,000 jobs. By donating to BirmighamWatch during the News Match campaign, you can help ensure your community and the issues you care about get the coverage they deserve.
“People are increasingly looking to nonprofit news to fill their information needs,” said Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News. “We need to continue that momentum and build an infrastructure that supports organizations that deliver fact-based, nonpartisan, accountable journalism.”
Kathy Im, director of journalism and media at MacArthur, agreed. “The accountability and investigative function of journalism is essential for our democracy and it has been under-resourced for many years,” she said. “News Match endeavors to strengthen a free and independent press and help restore Americans’ faith in the news media.”
If you would like to help support BirminghamWatch, please consider making a contribution during the News Match campaign. All contributions made before Dec. 31 will be matched dollar for dollar, which means the impact of your donation will be doubled.