The Future Of America’s Free Press Is In Our Hands

Turning #GivingTuesday into #GivingNewsDay — a new national campaign will match donations to nonprofit journalism.

(This article was originally published at HuffPost.)

Marie McCausland said Reddit saved her life, but it was actually nonprofit journalism.

Days after delivering her first child, the 27-year-old was having terrible pain, but ER doctors suggested nothing was wrong. However, she had read a story on maternal deaths from ProPublica that had been recently posted to Reddit and recognized her symptoms as preeclampsia. She insisted on a second opinion and got the treatment she needed, likely saving her life.

Across the United States, nonprofit newsrooms like ProPublica report on life and death issues every day. Most of these outlets are small, and just a few years old, but they are already having a huge impact on the communities they serve. They are tackling local corruption, water quality in schools, veterans health, and much, much more. And they are doing it under increasing pressure. The old models that sustained journalism for a long time are eroding, and local and investigative newsrooms are facing a perfect storm of economic challenges and political threats.

Every year, millions of Americans mark the Tuesday after Thanksgiving by donating to nonprofit and philanthropic causes as part of Giving Tuesday. This year, News Match, the largest-ever grassroots campaign to strengthen nonprofit journalism, is celebrating #GivingNewsDay — a nationwide call-to-action for all who are concerned about the news and information needs of our communities and falling trust in news media in our in our democracy. From now through the end of the year, a group of foundations is doubling donations to more than 100 newsrooms that produce stories that make a difference.

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How to Find and Support Trustworthy Journalism

If you are hungry for news you can trust, journalism that helps you make decisions about your community, reporting that holds power to account, then this is for you. This is my personal advice for people who want to support journalism that matters. It is just a starting point, it is not comprehensive, and it’ll become stronger and more useful if you add your ideas to it. Use the comments to add your list of newsrooms you subscribe to and support.

Now more than ever, it is important to our democracy that we seek out and support good journalism. Every person is going to construct their media diet differently, so any list I create will be incomplete. My goal here is to provide a framework for you to find the news that will challenge, inspire, inform and engage you.

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