One of the core principles in journalism is that when you view, read or hear the end product you can tell where the information comes from and how the work is funded. That commitment to transparency is all the more critical as newsrooms turn to new concepts for supporting local journalism.
The McClatchy Journalism Institute works with philanthropic contributors to fund journalism projects by newsrooms across the country. One of the Institute’s roles is to make sure the mechanics of that funding are explained every step of the way.
As philanthropic funding has grown in the U.S., the Institute was established to help facilitate that funding, set up procedures and standards for working with contributions and insure that the resulting projects meet the highest standards of quality, accuracy, independence and objectivity.
One of those standards is that the public must be informed of the funding arrangements and the origins of the contribution with the publication of every part of the story. Another standard is that while funders will know that subject of what’s published, they do not dictate the findings or review the content ahead of publication. Journalists and their editors must be free to shape their coverage as they see fit. The work of the Institute itself must be independent and governed by the public interest. Awards are made based on the quality of the application and go to whichever newsrooms have the superior proposal. MJI will publish a running total of contributions and spending. All work the Institute helps produce will be linked off this website, in order that the public can assess for itself the body of work that is produced.
Finally, we welcome questions and comments from readers, funders, journalists and interested observers (click the button below for an email form), and we’ll publish questions and answers as part of a FAQ section that will be added in time.
Thank you for your interest in this important work.