The crisis in journalism has become a crisis for democracies globally.
At a time when the financial model for journalism is broken, more and more communities are losing trust in journalists, and citizens struggle to discern truth from fiction on social media, a new approach to local and global reporting is needed now more than ever.
At GroundTruth, we’re working hard to rise to this enormous challenge. We grew our programs and operations by 400% in 2019 to train and support more emerging journalists reporting on under-covered communities because the need is great and growing by the day.
In 2019, we supported 83 emerging journalists in 14 countries, 28 states, and Puerto Rico reaching an estimated 100M people through our 65 editorial partners.
And we’re just getting started.
Only a few years ago, Report for America was just a vision: to reimagine local reporting as a public service. In 2019, that vision became more of a reality than ever before.
A Rapidly Growing Corps
Making an Impact
More people died in Mississippi prisons in August 2018 than in any other month over the prior six years. More than a year later, the inmates’ families and advocates continue their quest for answers. Michelle Liu offers a timeline of prison deaths and interviews grieving family members who are still searching for the truth.
For nine days after a mass shooting, a mother was blocked by cops from seeing her son who had been shot eight times. The sheriff’s office acknowledged that the delay was one big mistake, after Block Club reached out.
In her On The Ground Dispatch for USA Today, Mara Abbott, who went from U.S. Olympian to a reporter at the Buffalo Bulletin in Wyoming, illustrates how much of a big deal weekly newspaper distribution is in this small town.
“When a flat tire on the highway delayed a recent Wednesday delivery, one man came back three times to check on the paper’s status before our receptionist decided to post a note written in pink highlighter on the door.”
Risa Johnson teaches 9th and 10th graders at the Noli Indian School about journalism and helping them create a newspaper: https://nolinativenews.com/
“Beyond helping my students produce stories, I want to teach them media literacy skills so they know how to find real news and understand its value. I also want to encourage them to simply be curious. I want them to have fun while doing it all.”
This year’s GroundTruth fellows were undeterred, taking on one of our most ambitious and hard-hitting projects to date. from rising authoritarianism to post-genocide reconciliation.
GroundTruth is proud that our fellow’s work has elevated the voices of local communities to global conversations, and created real impact.
Making a Global Impact
“Photography can help you tell your story… and share it with the world. That can be like a medicine. That can heal someone.”
“It was the toughest interview I’ve ever done. But I kept reporting. It’s what a journalist does. I wanted to listen because I wanted to understand. I wanted my readers and listeners to understand, too.”
Democracy Undone fellow Soumya Shankar presented her insights on India’s controversial Citizenship Law during a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. As part of the Authoritarian’s Playbook podcast, Shankar visited the state of Assam, where she reported on the plight of the 1.9 million people, most of them Muslims, left effectively stateless after a national registry of citizens identified them as “illegal immigrants,” despite being born in India. Listen.
Taking Home an Emmy
The GroundTruth Project and its partners were recognized with an Emmy for our work on The Last Generation, an immersive multimedia project about climate change through the eyes of children. A curriculum developed by PBS Learning Media based on the reporting is now accessible to one million classrooms across the country.
2019 Donor Recognition
Facebook Journalism Project
$250,000 - $999,999
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Google News Initiative
Natasha and Dirk Ziff
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
$100,000 - $249,999
Bake Family Trust
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Evelyn Y Davis Foundation
Galloway Family Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation
Jonathan Logan Foundation
LOR Foundation / Solutions Journalism Network
Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation
$50,000 - $99,999
Henry Kimelman Family Foundation
Jesse and Betsy Fink
Leon Levy Foundation
Santa Fe Community Foundation
$5,000 - $49,999
Ann Davis Vaughan
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Barinaga Goodman Fund of West Marin Fund
Further Forward Foundation
Iger Bay Foundation
James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
Linda Mason and Roger Brown
Lucky Dog Too Fund
Maria Cuomo and Kenneth Cole
Marie Colvin Memorial Fund
Marilyn Caden's Trust
New England International Donors
Newspapers of New England
Rick and Beverly Fetterman
Samuel I Newhouse Foundation
Select Equity Foundation
Susan Crown Exchange, Inc.
Report for America local newsroom supporters ($5,000+)
Blue Grass Community Foundation
North Carolina Community Foundation
North Carolina Local News Lab
Quinn Family Foundation
Sierra Health Foundation
Stanislaus Community Foundation
WHAT YOU SUPPORT
Here’s what your unrestricted gift to GroundTruth can make possible:
Year Over Year Growth
Revenue and expenses
In 2019, our staff grew by 118%, from 11 to 24, and our Board of Directors grew by 20% from 10 to 12. Meet the people behind it all here.
To respond to this urgent need, we broke through from an early stage start-up to a sustainable nonprofit organization with extraordinary momentum to scale our work and fulfill our mission: restoring journalism from the ground up.
We’ve had a ground-breaking impact in 2019. And in 2020, we aim for still higher heights, with aspirations to reach 300 emerging journalists globally.
We’re leading an ambitious global movement to repair journalism, to restore trust, and to rejuvenate communities through the stories that matter most.
Charles M. Sennott
Founder, CEO And Editor-in-Chief
The GroundTruth Project
Home of Report for America
Photo credits (in order of appearance): 1. Angus Mordant / GroundTruth 2. Eric Shelton / GroundTruth 3. Ryan Michalesko / Dallas Morning News, Report for America 4. Leticia Duarte / GroundTruth 5. David Fuchs / KUER, Report for America 6. Leticia Duarte / GroundTruth 7. Michelle Mizner / GroundTruth, Frontline PBS 8. Patrice Howard / GroundTruth 9. Cindy Trinh / GroundTruth