New Funding for Legal Services

Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark Philanthropies renewed FIRE support.

$50,000 Newmark renewal tops $115,000 in gifts

FIRE’s popular new legal-services program received a significant boost this month in the form of a generous $50,000 grant-renewal by Craig Newmark Philanthropies and an additional $65,000 from longtime FIRE supporters.

The support, $115,000 in total, will further develop a series of tools made possible by last year's $75,000 Newmark grant.

With the tools, including the FIRE Contract Template and direct legal assistance, FIRE successfully intervened to help outlets protect reporters in 12 of 13 contract negotiations over the past year—seven of which have already resulted in story releases.

Thanks to the grant and supporters like you, the first generation of broadcasters and publishers now has the tools to systemically protect freelancers in the public interest, at just the right time—as commercial investigative newsrooms seek to compensate for layoffs, and nonprofit outlets look to expand their capacity.

“This work is important for the entire journalism field,” Newmark said in announcing the grant. "Freelancers are poised to play such a major public-interest role in the future. It’s time to advance this successful pilot and secure its long-term diversified support.”  

Newmark’s gift has been matched by more than $50,000 from an anonymous former national political reporter who helped launch FIRE; and $10,000 from the Joshua Mailman Foundation, another longtime supporter, among others.

Please consider making a donation to FIRE, on our easy-to-use new fundraising page.

And look for more stories soon.

Thank you!

Laird Townsend, FIRE Director

PS In the spirit of protecting public-interest reporters, FIRE also encourages any investigative freelancer to visit our friends at PEN America for their critical defenses against online harassment.