American Journalism Project

In January 2022, in an effort to enhance the region’s journalism ecosystem and answer the community’s calls for additional news coverage, three of Houston’s leading philanthropies—Houston Endowment, Kinder Foundation, and Arnold Ventures—announced plans to launch an independent nonprofit news operation in Houston that will emerge as one of the largest in the country. Kinder Foundation contributed $7.5 million of the more than $20 million raised for the initiative to date.

The project was born from a two-year research effort, led by the American Journalism Project, which relied on focus groups, community listening sessions, and surveys conducted in four different languages, as well as content analyses of existing coverage to examine local information gaps and news needs.

With an anticipated launch in late 2022 or early 2023 on multiple platforms, the new nonprofit news organization will elevate the voices of Houstonians and address the needs of the community as identified in the American Journalism Project’s extensive research. Its wide-ranging coverage will be available for free to readers as well as other news organizations.

The organization will be sustained by a combination of philanthropy, memberships, and sponsorship revenue. It will uphold the highest standards of journalism — philanthropic foundations will not have editorial control, review, oversight, or influence over the content being created or distributed.

“I am hopeful that our efforts will produce impartial, high quality journalism that will benefit and inform all Houstonians,” said Rich Kinder, chairman of Kinder Foundation. “This additional newsroom for Houston is supported because of an existing need, and we see this as a way of augmenting the current journalistic industry that informs our city.”

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