Traditional journalism is fighting for its life. The industry has been upended by the digital age, and as a result, many news organizations have had to make drastic changes to the way they operate. One casualty of this transition has been investigative journalism, which requires both time and resources that are in short supply. However, there is hope for the future of investigative journalism, and it comes in the form of nonprofit news organizations.
Nonprofit news organizations are not beholden to shareholders or advertisers, which means they are free to pursue stories that are in the public interest without fearing financial retaliation. These organizations are typically supported by philanthropic foundations or individual donors, which allows them to maintain their independence. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of nonprofit news organizations, and they have had some major successes. For example, the investigative nonprofit ProPublica was a co-winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.
As traditional journalism continues to struggle, nonprofit news organizations are filling the void left by traditional media outlets. These organizations are independent and mission-driven, which allows them to pursue stories that matter without worrying about financial repercussions. If you care about the future of investigative journalism, be sure to support your local nonprofit news organization.
What is a Nonprofit News Organization?
A nonprofit news organization is a media outlet that is 501(c)(3) certified by the IRS. This certification allows these organizations to accept tax-deductible donations from individuals and foundations. Nonprofit news organizations are typically mission-driven rather than profit-driven, which means they often focus on issues that are important to the public rather than stories that will make money.
While traditional media outlets are struggling to adjust to the digital age, nonprofit news organizations are thriving. In fact, there are now more than 1,800 nonprofit newsrooms in the United States alone. These organizations are independently operated and often rely on philanthropic support from foundations or individual donors.
Why Nonprofit Journalism Matters
Investigative journalism is vital to a healthy democracy, but it is also very expensive and time-consuming. As traditional media outlets have cut back on their investigative reporting due to financial constraints, nonprofit news organizations have stepped in to fill the void. These organizations have the freedom to pursue stories that matter without worrying about advertising dollars or shareholders—which means they can focus on producing high-quality journalism that holds those in power accountable.
In an age when traditional media is struggling to survive, nonprofit journalism is thriving. These independent and mission-driven organizations allow us to hold those in power accountable and fight for an informed democracy. If you care about the future of investigative journalism—and you should—be sure to support your local nonprofit news organization today.