INN strengthens and supports more than 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service.
In 2009, journalists from 27 nonpartisan, nonprofit news organizations gathered at the Pocantico Center in New York to plan the future of investigative journalism. The result of that meeting, the Pocantico Declaration, established the Investigative News Network (now named the Institute for Nonprofit News) and laid a foundation of collaboration among a new collective of nonprofit newsrooms dedicated to serving the public interest.
Today, INN has grown to more than 300 nonprofit media organizations in North America. Our community shares best practices, collaborates on stories, pools resources and receives cutting-edge training in professional, organizational and business development. Together, we’ve managed to increase the reach and impact of their work as they seek to inform communities, hold the powerful accountable and help keep our democracy free.
Vision & Mission
INN’s vision is to build a nonprofit news network that ensures all people in every community have access to trusted news. To that end, we pursue our mission of providing education and business support services to our nonprofit member organizations and promoting the value and benefit of public-service and investigative journalism. Through five strategic program areas, we seek to:
- Nurture a network that strengthens and speeds nonprofit news growth.
- Propel members in building sustainable revenue
- Amplify the public benefit of news by expanding distribution and collaboration.
- Create new, diverse leadership pipelines to develop and support the rising leaders who will forge the future of news.
- Advance public support for nonprofit news as a public trust.
video by INN member Investigative Network
1. Nonprofit journalism serves people and communities. We believe nonprofit, nonpartisan newsrooms have a unique role in journalism because they are created as public trusts, with a mission to serve communities’ information needs and benefit the public rather than generate private wealth. They seek to convey the truth, build community ties, inspire and inform people so they can make decisions in their own lives and in civic life. They hold the powerful accountable. This journalism is fundamental to a healthy, democratic society.
2. Independence builds public trust. Nonprofit news organizations have a mission to seek the truth and offer news independent of any influence from funders, causes, government or corporate interests. INN will not accept funding or support that presents a conflict of interest with our work, nor compromises INN or our members’ commitment to independent, nonpartisan news coverage, diversity and inclusion or any aspect of our mission. INN and members agree to publish our major sources of financial support. We believe that when the public understands who funds news coverage, it protects the integrity of the journalism and helps hold news organizations accountable.
3. Equity is fundamental to all our actions and news coverage. INN holds the responsibility to support, lead and model an equitable culture — staffing, leadership and journalism inclusive of the full range of people we and our members serve. We believe equity in news organizations and their coverage is fundamental to credible journalism.
4. Antiracism work is necessary in journalism. Journalism in the United States has centered on the white experience in staffing, business and editorial work, which is detrimental to communities of color, journalists of color and democracy. INN works to build, support and sustain journalism that accurately represents and values all people, particularly those whose work has historically been marginalized and underrepresented.
5. We value and support our colleagues and our network. We believe in a culture of collaboration, camaraderie, information sharing and mutual respect with our colleagues and members. We commit to communicating clearly and thoughtfully, to listening with care, and to always working toward our shared goal of an inclusive workplace and network that promotes great journalism and positive work environments for all people.
The organizations that comprise the network are diverse, with beats that range from the local to the global, often exploring the intersection of the two. Some cover specific industries and sectors, such as education or healthcare. Others cover communities, from small towns to big cities. The members utilize all media including, digital, print, radio, data and film. All of them are nonprofits and use investigative and public-interest reporting to advance their mission.
Their newsrooms are composed of reporters, editors and producers that have been recognized by a constellation of news-industry awards, including Pulitzers, Emmys, Peabodys, DuPonts and laurels from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and many others.
Their high-impact stories have exposed corruption and inspired legal and policy reforms; alerted the public to environmental perils, financial scams and faulty products; and informed communities about the issues of business and government that affect daily life.
The INN members do this work at a time of tectonic shifts in media technology, culture and economy. They do it because journalism's mission of public service demands nothing less from them. They do it because a viable, sustainable Fourth Estate is essential for a healthy democracy.
To be a member of INN, an organization must be organized as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) (such as INN). It also must be transparent about funding sources and produce investigative and/or public-service reporting. Learn more about how to apply.
INN is a 501(c)(3) federally recognized nonprofit. INN, and all its members, have a commitment to transparency in funding. All member organizations must display and make available funders who donate over $5,000.