Who We Are

The American Journalism Project is the first venture philanthropy nonprofit focused on local news. Through transformative investments to Civic News Organizations, we are building a new public service media that is governed by, sustained by and looks like the public it serves.

The economics that supported the news industry for most of the twentieth century are no longer viable. As a result, the civic function news provides is under threat.

We founded the American Journalism Project to help combat this threat. In other sectors, venture philanthropy has created sustainable new ecosystems that fill gaps left by the market. We are doing the same for local news.

What is Venture Philanthropy?

Venture philanthropy provides entrepreneurial nonprofits and promising leaders with the same kind of capital, close support, and ongoing partnership that is available to for-profit companies. Successful investments lead to sustainability and mission-driven success.

Our Beliefs

Our approach to solving our nation's local news crisis is based on three interlocking beliefs.

Democracy and journalism are interdependent.

Local news is a public good that markets won't supply.

This is a We, the People, problem to solve.

What We Do

We are focused on growing and sustaining an independent local press by building business and technology capacity in local Civic News Organizations. Our three core functions:


Making course-altering grants to a set of enterprising civic news organizations

Intensive Support

Coaching and support from industry experts and peers

Movement Building

Catalyzing financial support for independent local news

Our portfolio of grantees are pioneering a new economic model: sophisticated commercial media strategy and tactics supported by a step-function increase in journalism philanthropy.

Civic News Ecosystem

Today, the Institute for Nonprofit News represents more than 200 newsrooms across the country, who together employ more than 4,000 journalists. In many places, these reporters are the only ones covering local government, school, and other community issues.

The best of these organizations can become exemplary models with support from the American Journalism Project.

“The most aggressive response to the collapse of local journalism has come from hundreds of upstart news outlets that have formed over the last 15 years.”

Source: The New York Times

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