The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press a $2.5 million challenge grant, the largest grant in the organization’s 35-year history. The funds will be distributed over five years and will be split between the Reporters Committee’s endowment and its operating fund.
“We’re delighted that the Knight Foundation has recognized the valuable contributions the Reporters Committee has made to the public’s right to know,” said Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “Reporters all over the country will benefit from the continuation and expansion of the programs this grant will support.”
The Reporters Committee is a non-profit association that provides legal defense and advocacy services to journalists working in the United States. It hosts a 24-hour legal hotline for journalists, provides journalists with references to pro bono lawyers in all 50 states, publishes numerous reports, magazines, newsletters and websites, and manages a fellowship and internship program for young journalists and lawyers.
“The fight for press freedom will never end, said Eric Newton, director of journalism initiatives for the Knight Foundation. “The news community will always need the smart, effective work of the Reporters Committee. Let’s make sure the committee is there not just for us now, but for all journalists, forever.”
The John S. & James L. Knight promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities. The Foundation has long supported the Reporters Committee. Its largest previous grant was a $2.3 million endowment and operating grant paid over three years beginning in 1999.
Under the terms of the new challenge grant, The Reporters Committee is required to match $2 million of the grant over the next five years. “We’re very lucky to have already raised $746,000 of the match, largely from our 35th anniversary celebration held in New York in May 2005,” Dalglish said. “Our goal is to ultimately raise more than $5 million for our endowment and general operating expenses by the end of the decade, ensuring our financial security for years to come.”