Equitable Journalism

Spreading and Sustaining Community-Driven News

In addition to the financial hardships local news has faced over the last few decades, many journalism organizations have continued to harm communities of color through racist coverage and biased reporting. While these challenges remain, a growing number of independent news organizations have developed equitable ways to inform communities and spark action. These models prioritize people over profits. They can transform our definition of journalism — and how our nation supports it.

Our Approach

We know that reliable, community focused journalism plays a crucial role in people’s lives. When people have access to the news they need, they’re more likely to vote, access public resources, and advocate for change.

Our Equitable Journalism initiatives seek to ensure all communities see their needs, concerns, and dreams reflected in the public square. Through this flow of information, people can use their power to build an inclusive multiracial democracy.

Journalism and Power Building

The Journalism and Power Building initiative supports leaders of color and the coalitions and organizations they champion. These leaders are changing journalism and using media to launch movements for equity, justice, and democracy.

See how we support leaders who are changing journalism

News and Information Ecosystems

The News and Information Ecosystems initiative supports the evolution of local news in the United States. This is accomplished through building more vibrant ecosystems and equitable networks across the nation. As a result, people can rely on local news to help them make decisions and take action in their lives, making news and information a core civic infrastructure.

Learn about how we're supporting local news

Staff Working on Equitable Journalism

Angelica Das

Associate Director, Public Square

Teresa Gorman

Associate Director, Public Square

Christine Schmidt

Senior Program Associate, Public Square

Lea Trusty

Senior Program Associate, Public Square

Democracy Fund Editorial Firewall Policy

We adhere to a strict policy preserving the editorial independence of all our journalism grantees. In the instance of a grantee approaching a member of our staff for comment, we require them to go through our communications team — not a program officer — and we alert the reporter of the funding relationship. We also request that if they quote a member of our team they disclose our funding of their organization in any story produced.

In addition, the Democracy Fund communications staff does not send pitches to the nonprofit newsrooms we support, and we include language in our grant agreements that we won’t discuss editorial content with journalism grantees or otherwise seek to influence their coverage. However, we may alert newsroom leadership of Democracy Fund developments and news in the course of regular engagement with grantees.

Explore Our Other Public Square Porfolios

Public Square strategies seek to ensure every community in the United States has access to accurate information that encourages healthy, informed, and engaged lives.

Digital Democracy

Social media platforms have a growing influence on American life. Unchecked, these networks can distort reality, fuel discrimination, and undermine elections.

Learn more about this work