Introducing The Lenfest Council for Journalism and Democracy
Four years ago, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and rededicated them to the service of our community. Gerry’s vision – and our guiding mission – is that a great city needs and deserves a great news organization.
Gerry recognized that local journalism was in financial crisis, just when our democracy needed it most.
“Where better than Philadelphia,” Gerry asked, “to invent the future of a free press?”
As has long been the case, Philadelphians have rallied to the cause of free speech and civic dialogue. The Lenfest Council for Journalism and Democracy is a philanthropic society of Philadelphia citizens committed to securing the future of local news here in the birthplace of the First Amendment.
These citizens are helping fund investment in new investigative news coverage, new technology for the news operation, improved digital products for readers, and greater diversity in both the newsroom and its audience, each a key building block for sustainable local journalism.
The fruits of these investments are evident every day. In just the last few months, the Inquirer has published unparalleled investigative news coverage of the local opioid crisis, the plight of local immigrants, asbestos in our public schools, a devastating nursing home fire, and reports on state and city government. These stories, expressed powerfully in both print and digital form, have had tremendous impact on our community and its democracy.
There is still much more work to do, and we intend to do it. Our commitment to the people of Philadelphia is to continue in the spirit of Gerry Lenfest and all those who love freedom – to report without fear or favor as a voice of independence, empowering all citizens, holding the powerful to account.
We invite you to make a gift to sustain independent local journalism by joining the Lenfest Council for Journalism and Democracy, established for leadership donors who support the Institute with an annual gift of $2,500 or more. We are pleased to offer a host of benefits that will deepen your engagement and understanding of the transformation of the news that is happening at this historic moment.
Our work is entirely supported by private philanthropy, and so to encourage other donors, Gerry established a special fund to match every gift, up to $40 million — so the impact of your generosity will be doubled.
Local journalism is building a new and dynamic future — and you can be part of it. Thank you for taking a stand to affirm the critical role that a free press plays in American democracy.
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism has a passionate and diverse Executive Leadership team and Board of Managers committed to developing and advancing sustainable journalism.