In 2014, 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 a 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 community members committed to securing the future of local news here in the birthplace of the First Amendment.
These donors 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 addition to its regular news coverage and reports on city and state government, The Inquirer has led a number of high-impact projects: It publishes unparalleled coverage of the local gun violence crisis — making the paper a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist — and is releasing in-depth series unpacking the history of racism in Philadelphia’s institutions. Most recently, it established a Communities and Engagement Desk to better connect with and serve Philadelphians. These projects, 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 to ensure all citizens feel empowered and to hold the powerful to account through independent journalism. 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.
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.
If you’d like to learn more about the Lenfest Council, you can reach us via email at [email protected] or via phone at (215) 854 – 5600.