Weekly news for nonprofit news leaders and supporters

INN & member news 


2019 INN Index is out now 

Our second annual INN Index report was released last week, with many positive findings. The report, based on 2018 data from nearly 60 percent of INN members across the United States, is our comprehensive look at the state of the nonprofit news industry.

This report is being widely referenced and shared among boards, foundations, community groups and other news supporters interested in how communities can rebuild journalism. 

In case you missed it, some key takeaways:
  • Nonprofit newsrooms have been launching at a pace of more than one a month in the U.S. for almost 12 years. 
  • Individual financial support of journalism is expanding significantly — individuals and families now donate nearly 40 percent of all revenue going to news nonprofits. 
  • Four out of five news nonprofits provide investigative or explanatory reporting.

How to Avoid Being Sued: New webinar and online course from Poynter

INN has been working with the Poynter Institute and Democracy Fund to develop educational resources to help journalists understand risks they face in their reporting, and how they can avoid them without compromising their journalism.

To kick off this new program, George Freeman, the former vice president and assistant general counsel of The New York Times’ legal department, will be hosting a Poynter webinar this Thursday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. ET to look at ways you can avoid being sued. The free webinar will help you navigate the tricky world of defamation and show how you can protect yourself and your organization from accusations of libel or slander.

In addition to this webinar, Poynter will also be launching a new, free course on media liability with one version that is available to the public and a second version, launching later this fall, that provides additional depth, is covered by attorney-client privilege and is available exclusively to INN members. The long course is designed for executive directors and top editors from INN members. Other staff may benefit from the shorter course.

Watch this newsletter for additional information on the private course, coming later this fall.

Patch content partnership announcement

We now have an exciting opportunity for any INN member to publish on Patch — and receive a small fee for each page view generated on the site. Patch, an independent news platform with over 1,000 hyperlocal news sites, is interested in featuring content from other high quality news organizations on their sites.

Patch promises each content partner an analytics dashboard demonstrating the reach of your content on Patch, as well as $.01 per page view. In other words. If your stories get 100 page views, you make $1.

If you’re interested in publishing on Patch, or learning more, please register for a webinar on Oct. 2 at 3 p.m. ET, during which INN's Chief Network Officer Jonathan Kealing and Colin Miner, Patch’s manager of news partnerships, will discuss the partnership.


Upcoming opportunities for INN members


From INN & members: 


New data journalism resources from Global Investigative Journalism Network

The Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Native American Journalists Association have created a resource to help Indigenous journalists doing in-depth and watchdog reporting.

This unique guide is designed to encourage Indigenous journalists worldwide and to empower them with tips, tools, and sources for information.

In addition, GIJN’s Data Journalism Resource Center is now reorganized, revised and expanded with 15 sections, beginning with the best books and tip sheets, working through descriptions of the main tools, and ending with mapping and visualization tools.

Upcoming deadline to apply for ProPublica's Local Reporting Network

The latest round of applications for ProPublica's Local Reporting Network, with a focus on accountability projects involving state government or state politics, will close Friday, Sept. 27. ProPublica will pay the salary, plus a benefits allowance, for reporters at seven partner news organizations who will each spend one year tackling an investigative project in their state. Apply here.

Celebrate nonprofit news @ ComNet

The Texas Tribune and your NewsMatch sponsors are hosting a celebration of nonprofit newsrooms at ComNet19 on Oct. 2 in Austin. ComNet is a national organization of communications officers for foundations and other nonprofits. All members are welcome, and we suggest you share this invitation with any of your funders or other prospective news funders from your area. 

Upcoming webinar for ProPublica's Collaborate tool

Learn about Collaborate, ProPublica’s new tool for managing crowdsourced and collaborative data projects, which is based on an in-house tool they created for the Electionland and Documenting Hate projects. Find out how to use the tool and how it can be helpful to your newsroom on Oct. 16.

Help Center for Public Integrity, MuckRock read through family border separation complaints

More than 600 complaints about family separation events were submitted to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in 2018. Now, INN members MuckRock and Center for Public Integrity are sorting through them — and they need your help.

INN Labs Tech Support for NewsMatch 2019 Participants

Thanks to generous funding from the Knight Foundation, INN Labs will help participants improve their website donation flows, learn how to use existing tools to optimize campaigns and add important NewsMatch messaging and media to their sites.

> Interested in technical help from INN Labs? Sign up for a 1:1 meeting. 

From our friends outside of INN:

Upcoming journalism fellowships + scholarships application deadline 

The Marguerite Casey Foundation is accepting applications for its 2019 Journalism Fellowships and Scholarships on Poverty, due TOMORROW, Sept. 25. The program supports journalism that helps the public and policymakers understand how families are working for solutions and equity in communities across the United States. Each fellowship includes a stipend of $4,000 and up to $1,000 to cover travel expenses; each scholarship includes a stipend of $2,000 and up to $1,000 for associated travel cost. Apply here.

CrowdTangle report launched, upcoming webinar

The CrowdTangle U.S Local News Trends Report officially went live last week, with findings including that there is no golden hour for engagement with U.S. local news posts on Facebook. CrowdTangle will host a webinar TOMORROW, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. ET to go over the findings, explain how they built the report and to answer any questions. LION and INN members can RSVP here

Local Legal Initiative webinar

INN and LION members are invited to join the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press for an information session on Oct. 1 for RCFP's Local Legal Initiative, a new program placing lawyers in five cities across the U.S. in 2020. RCFP is seeking proposals from news organizations for a lawyer to be placed in their city. Register here. 

Racial Equity in Journalism grant funding webinar

The Racial Equity in Journalism (REJ) Fund at Borealis Philanthropy, which seeks to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of news organizations led by people of color and increase civic engagement for communities of color, is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. PT to share information about the process of applying for grants. To join, please RSVP here. 

Peer review opportunity for data journalism

OpenNews launched a peer-review program that connects people in smaller newsrooms with fellow journalists who can help them think through a data project. Participation is free and designed for data journalists on small teams, from local or regional newsrooms, and from underrepresented backgrounds in journalism. Applications will be open through Oct. 16


Have an opportunity to share with INN members? Email

In Case You Missed It

  • Original reporting will now be elevated in Google search results, according to the tech company.
  • Education nonprofit outlet Chalkbeat is aiming at an 18-city network by 2025, according to its recently released strategic plan.
    Nieman Lab
  • Google and Facebook have pledged to spend $100 million each per year over the next three years on journalism initiatives — but what are the implications of tech companies funding journalism?
    The Guardian
  • "A story is a gift, not a donor-acquisition strategy." How nonprofits can create organizational identity to tell their story.
    Nonprofit Quarterly
  • Rural libraries are becoming public health hubs, solidifying their place as information centers.
    Pew Research Center
  • Writing watchdog and in-depth narrative stories that readers want generally leads to more subscriptions.

From INN Members

A sampling of the best nonprofit journalism from INN members each week:

Investigation: Border wall construction threatens 22 Arizona archaeological sites
Tucson Sentinel

Climate change means uncertain future for New Mexico chile farmers
New Mexico In Depth

Multi-million dollar political ad spending on Snapchat revealed amid transparency push
Open Secrets

An innovative strategy to reduce gun violence: beautify Chicago neighborhoods
Chicago Reporter / The Trace

Critics worry about food safety as federal meat inspectors face work overload, burnout
Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

Membership News

Celebrating member achievements — Congratulations:

To Marissa Miley, Senior Editor for The GroundTruth Project and Rachael Sadon, Editor-in-Chief of DCist, who were selected for the fall cohort of Poynter’s 2019 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. And to Candice Fortman, Chief of Engagement and Operations of Outlier Media, who was selected as a guest faculty member.

To Delece Smith-Barrow, Senior Editor for The Hechinger Report, and to Luis Gómez, Social Media Manager for Report for America, who were selected for Poynter’s Power of Diverse Voices Class of 2019.

To the finalists for Current's 2019 Local That Works annual contest: To the finalists for the first LION Publishers Award:
  • Madison365
  • Tucson Sentinel
  • Wausau Pilot and Review
  • Highlands Current
  • VTDigger
  • Charlottesville Tomorrow
  • City Limits
  • Chalkbeat Colorado

Member Impact:

  • An audit by the inspector general follows a Better Government Association investigation that found Chicago's environmental enforcement declined amid cuts to inspection staff under Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
  • The Chicago City Council approved ticket and debt collection reforms. The reforms promise to stop balancing the budget on the backs of the poor with aggressive fines and fees, an issue that gained attention last year as a result of investigations by ProPublica Illinois in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago.
Do you have news to share or want to submit a profile of your nonprofit news organization? Tell us at

INN Events

Job Listings

Major Gifts Program Director  
Institute for Nonprofit News

Executive Director
High Country News

Reporting Internship for NYC High School Students
City Limits

Chief People Officer

Audience Engagement Coordinator
Injustice Watch

Student Fellowships
Texas Tribune

Director of Audience Strategy
The Marshall Project

Executive Producer

Assistant Professor/Data Journalism and Digital Storytelling
School of Journalism at Northeastern University

Have a job you want to promote?  Post it to our industry job board.

Contact INN

INN, Nonprofit News Strategies
Sue Cross | Email | @suecross

Mara Jezior | Email | @marajezior

Learning + Training
Fran Scarlett | Email

Services & Collaboration
Jonathan Kealing | Email | @JKealing
Fiscal Sponsorship, Business Services
Chip Potts | Email

Kay Lima | Email | @kayleen_lima

Larry Horne | Email

Copyright © 2019 Institute for Nonprofit News, All rights reserved.

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