Introducing The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism

Introducing The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism

Introducing The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism

A multifaceted 501c3 educational organization will train and nurture next generation of diverse independent journalists.


Contact: Caitlin Graf, The Nation, press [at], 212-209-5400

Sarah Burke, The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism, sarah [at], 212-209-5428

New York, N.Y.—May 12, 2021—The Nation is proud to announce the launch of The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism (@thenationfund / The Nation Fund on Facebook), a new nonprofit organization that marks our sustained commitment to the excellence and future of independent journalism. Building on The Nation’s long-standing dedication to fostering and mentoring early-career journalists, The Nation Fund will expand on that mission while developing rigorous educational programs to train the next generation of boldly independent journalists. Our mission is to invest in the future of a strong independent press by developing a robust framework that lifts up diverse voices and perspectives.

“The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism gives space and opportunity for programs seeded by the magazine to grow sustainably,” says Erin O’Mara, executive director of The Nation Fund. “While The Nation has long been grateful for its committed donor base, we’ve also long been aware that many wanted the opportunity to do more. The Nation Fund provides our generous donors with an opportunity to expand their support through the benefit of tax-deductible gifts. As a nonprofit, we will also be able to seek new sources of support that benefit media in the public interest. And while reaching a broader philanthropic community, we vow to continue to expand our reach, our message, and our mission.”

The Nation’s student journalists are the future of media,” adds Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher of The Nation. “We have a proud and remarkable track record of launching early-career journalists who have gone to on to make an indelible impact on our industry—and our world. From The New York Times to The New Yorker to our own masthead, The Nation has seeded the industry with the talent, passion, and know-how to produce award-winning, fact-based accountability journalism. I myself was an intern, and have long valued and drawn upon the critical training and confidence the program instilled in me.”

“We’re at an inflection point in our industry—we must prioritize the diversity of our newsrooms, of management, and of the content journalists produce in order for independent journalism to truly rise to cover this moment,” says Sarah Burke, development director of The Nation Fund. “We believe this move will allow our educational mission the space and support to grow to new heights that weren’t possible within the magazine.”

For more than 155 years, The Nation’s commitment to the power and promise of independent journalism has remained steadfast, as has its efforts to—and eye for—identifying and publishing brilliant new voices in the field. The Nation Fund’s origin story is similarly committed: Building on concerted efforts to nurture diverse, early-career journalists—including a rigorous, four decades-running internship program, widely regarded as one of the finest programs for early career journalists in the country—The Nation Fund will oversee a host of educational programming focused on building fundamental skills through a comprehensive and immersive education. These mission-driven and -aligned initiatives together include:

  • The Victor S. Navasky Internship Program, reimagined to include five editorial interns trained in the essential skills of rigorous research, fact-checking, and reporting—tasks essential to producing high-quality journalism—and one publishing intern, to be immersed in the future of the news business, including digital marketing, communications, advertising, sales, budget management, and institutional accountability. From Nation Editorial Director and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel to Editor D.D. Guttenplan to HuffPost Executive Editor (and former Nation executive editor) Richard Kim, The Nation’s internship program has graduated award-winning journalists whose work has influenced and informed millions at virtually every significant media outlet in the United State, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.
  • StudentNation, a dedicated editorial project that aims to encourage, promote, and expand the impact of a rising generation of college-aged journalists, which has already helped launch the careers of contributors to The New York Times, Vox, Business Insider, Teen Vogue, and The Guardian.
  • The Puffin/Nation Student Journalism Conference, a convening of speakers from the broader journalism community to teach independent student journalists best practices for covering social movements through interactive workshops, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and video screenings. Past speakers have ranged from Nation stalwarts Katrina vanden Heuvel, Dave Zirin, and Elie Mystal to thought-leaders including Melissa Harris-Perry, Kai Wright, Chris Hayes, Ari Berman, Laura Flanders, Jane Mayer, Sarah Stillman, and Collier Meyerson.
  • Nation Classroom, a modular curriculum focused on race relations, white supremacy, and the struggle for civil rights and economic equality from 1865 to the present. With more than 250 pages of historical material that comply with AP History and English Language Arts Standard curriculums, the Nation Classroom brings the magazine’s renowned archives to life in high school classrooms. Selections feature iconic voices and original writing by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois, Howard Zinn, Toni Morrison, and Langston Hughes, among others.
  • The Nation Fund also hopes to grow and expand sustainable, annual fellowship offerings—building off of previous efforts and iterations, which began with Chloe Maxmin, who is now the youngest state senator in history of Maine, in 2014.

There is no shortage of bad news in the news business, and that is particularly acute when it comes to the challenges our industry faces. Yet The Nation does not publish to make a dollar but to make a difference. At this critical juncture, The Nation Fund will complement The Nation’s institutional legacy by investing in the next generation of journalists now—to provide critical training, jump-start careers, and help to set and raise the standards of journalism itself. This investment is also an investment in the future of independent journalism, investing in financially sustainable mentorship programs. As a separate nonprofit entity, The Nation Fund will offer the space and support to expand and grow these existing student programs, enabling them to reach new heights and increase their impact, to amplify progressive movements for racial, social, and economic justice.

The Nation is enormously grateful to the Puffin Foundation, the first institutional funder to believe in the power and possibility of these programs, and to provide the seed funding that enabled our earliest educational initiatives to grow and thrive. The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism is now actively seeking additional support.

Led by Nation Fund Executive Director Erin O’Mara, who is president of The Nation, and Development Director Sarah Burke, associate publisher of fundraising for The Nation, The Nation Fund’s Founding Board is comprised of Board Chair Vincent McGee; Secretary Malia Lazu; Treasurer Krishen Mehta; and board members Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Ruth Messinger, Keith Mestrich, and Julia Ott.

To learn how you can support The Nation Fund’s mission and programs, please visit The Nation Fund’s Ways to Give or contact Sarah Burke: sarah [at] / 212-209-5428.

To apply to participate in the inaugural virtual Nation Fund Puffin/Nation Student Journalism Conference on Thursday, June 17, please visit the conference announcement here.

Representatives from The Nation and The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism are available for select interviews. Please see contact information above.

About: Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of political and cultural life from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter, serving as a critical, independent, and progressive voice in American journalism.

The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism is a nonprofit educational initiative that works to expand opportunities for diverse voices and perspectives and educate early-career journalists in order to strengthen independent media.

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