NOVEMBER 9, 2017

As Nation Honors U.S. Veterans, News Match Celebrates Veteran-focused Journalism

Major Foundations Call on Americans to Commemorate Veterans Day by Funding Nonprofit Newsrooms Focusing on Veterans & Military Issues

Washington, DC – Ahead of Veterans Day, News Match—the largest-ever grassroots campaign to strengthen nonprofit journalism across the United States—is highlighting participating newsrooms with a proven track record of reporting on critical issues impacting veterans and their families.

“Every Veterans Day, Americans come together to recognize the sacrifice and valor of our veterans throughout the country,” said Sue Cross, Executive Director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News. “Nonprofit news organizations do this daily through their groundbreaking reporting—ensuring our nation lives up to our commitment to those who have served.”

Now through Dec. 31, nonprofit newsrooms participating in the News Match campaign are eligible to receive matching funds for all individual donations up to $1,000. Anyone can contribute by visiting www.newsmatch.org—the first one-stop platform for donating to nonprofit news. News Match supports veteran-focused newsrooms like The War Horse, Connecticut Health I-Team, ProPublica, Reveal, Rocky Mountain PBS, and many others.

News Match 2017 was made possible by Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support nonprofit news organizations that play a vital role informing the public and holding those in power accountable.

“This Veterans Day, we call on Americans to mark the occasion by donating to nonprofit newsrooms that support our veterans and military families before, during, and after serving their country. Without financial support, these vital stories go uncovered. We have a simple message to Americans: support the news you need,” continued Cross.

The War Horse was founded in 2016 by Thomas Brennan, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps who served as an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan. The nonprofit newsroom delivers comprehensive reporting on the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The War Horse’s reporting on online sexual exploitation and harassment at Marines United led to congressional and federal investigations that eventually changed military law. This investigation uncovered orchestrated stalking, deliberate collection and distribution of photographs of active and veteran women, and the sharing of nonconsensual images. Because of The War Horse’s investigation these actions are now illegal. In addition to investigating gross misconduct, The War Horse publishes the stories of veterans readjusting to civilian life—from dealing with anxiety to continuing their public service through new avenues.

Connecticut Health I-Team is a nonprofit news health and safety website that prioritizes stories of systemic health care system problems that affect vulnerable and marginalized voices—including those of Veterans. C-HIT strives to cover healthcare issues faced by veterans, with an emphasis on those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just last month, Colorado-based Rocky Mountain PBS launched the season premiere of their “Insight” series with an investigation entitled, “Serving Those Who Served”—an in-depth look at the understaffed, overburdened VA system.

Since 2015, ProPublica has been reporting on the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans and their fight for benefits. A story published in July, in partnership with the Houston Chronicle, renewed interest into the toxic herbicide. The piece details the longstanding struggle between the Department of Veterans Affairs and veterans to broaden the rules for who is eligible for compensation related to Agent Orange exposure. ProPublica puts the gravity of the situation into perspective—as many as 2.6 million servicemembers may have been exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and it is widely believed that the dangerous health issues associated with exposure were passed on to their children.

Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, published an article in September on the Trump Administration’s effort to legalize payments to VA officials who administer the GI Bill from for-profit schools by waiving a 50-year-old anti-corruption law. Veterans’ advocates argue that this reversal paves the way for “predatory” colleges who use “aggressive marketing techniques to become leading recipients of GI Bill money.” The story is just the latest in ongoing veteran-focused reporting on topics like veterans benefits, housing, and life after returning from war.

All news organizations participating in News Match are members in good standing of the Institute for Nonprofit News. To be a member, an organization must be a 501(c)(3) or have a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, must be transparent about funding sources, and produce investigative and/or public-service reporting. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. For a list of all participating news organizations, visit newsmatch.org.


Contact

Lauren Strayer, Democracy Fund
202-420-7928
media@democracyfund.org

Anusha Alikhan, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
305-908-2646
media@knightfoundation.org

Sean Harder, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
312-917-0205
sharder@macfound.org


About the Institute for Nonprofit News:

The Institute for Nonprofit News is an incubator and support network for nonprofit newsrooms, strengthening the sources of independent, public service information and investigative journalism for thousands of communities across the U.S. INN is the only organization in the U.S. specifically focused on supporting the emerging nonprofit news sector. For more, visit INN.org.

About Democracy Fund:

The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $60 million in support of effective governance, modern elections, and a vibrant public square. For more, visit democracyfund.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago. More information is available at macfound.org.