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Election Day 2018 JJ 01 Texas Tribune

A free press is essential to sustaining a functioning democracy.

Journalists serve as a vital check on power, relying on rigorous reporting to maintain an informed citizenry, uncover corruption, shine a light on systemic failures and inspire change and progress. A prolonged assault on our nation’s fourth estate coupled with the rise of disinformation and deep financial losses within the for-profit journalistic sector have threatened to undermine the watchdog reporting necessary for transparency, accountability, and policy change.

To preserve the ability of our government and society to function freely, fairly, and effectively, it is imperative that newsrooms have the support they need to investigate, research, gather the data, follow the evidence, and publish news that changes lives. We must safeguard our democratic institutions by strengthening a press that embraces the principles of fairness, objectivity, balance, and ethics. To that end, we fund nonprofit groups and news-gathering organizations that advance the values of freedom of the press and produce the highest-quality journalism. While the majority of our money goes toward investigative journalism, data transparency, and accountability reporting, we also support associations that protect and defend journalists, journalism education and training, state capitol and local newsrooms, and topical reporting.

Image: The Texas Tribune newsroom on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018. (John Jordan/The Texas Tribune)

Proportion of newsroom employees at newspapers who lost their jobs between 2008 and 2018, from about 71,000 workers to 38,000. Source
Proportion of the largest newspapers in the United States that experienced layoffs between January 2017 and April 2018. Source
Proportion of Americans who say the creation and spread of made-up news and information is causing significant harm to the nation Source
Amount of funding Arnold Ventures has provided in journalism initiatives since 2013, including for investigative and issue reporting.
Aerial view of downtown Houston at sunset.

Houston Local News Initiative

A coalition including three of Houston’s leading philanthropies have invested $20 million to establish a new, independent, nonprofit news organization in Houston.

Learn More