The Danville Regional Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to Cardinal News to broaden coverage of the region’s economic rebirth.
Cardinal News will receive $100,000 a year for three years to support the salary, benefits, equipment, travel and expenses of a full-time reporter who primarily will cover Danville and Pittsylvania County. “We are so thankful to the Danville Regional Foundation for understanding the role that robust journalism plays in a healthy society,” said Luanne Rife, Cardinal News co-founder and president. “We cannot begin to express our gratitude for this funding that will allow for deeper coverage of important stories in an area that is experiencing an economic rebirth, yet is often neglected by policymakers in Virginia’s political and economic centers.”
Cardinal News, a nonprofit and nonpartisan online news service, launched in September to report the in-depth political, economic and cultural stories of Southwest and Southside Virginia that were going untold by legacy media due to severe cuts to newsroom staff.
“Across the country, philanthropic organizations and foundations are supporting the development and launch of nonprofit news sites,” said Clark Casteel, president and CEO of Danville Regional Foundation. “At DRF, we have repeatedly come across research and articles on the rise of nonprofit news as an important strategy for bringing our communities together, keeping citizens informed and creating the foundation for constructive dialogue on how to solve our region’s challenges.”
The Institute for Nonprofit News reports 300 nonprofit news sites exist now across the U.S., a number that doubled over the past two years as the newspaper industry’s decline accelerated. Cardinal was created out of concern that the influence of Southwest and Southside people on statewide policies was also diminishing as in-depth coverage of important issues waned. “As DRF continues to make investments that will transform our community economically, we are pleased to be able to make investments that have the potential to transform our civic dialogue and build opportunities for regional partnerships across the Cardinal News footprint in Southwest and Southern Virginia,” Casteel said.
Cardinal News is in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status, but has yet to receive the IRS approval letter. “The Future of the Piedmont Foundation has offered to serve as our fiscal agent for this grant in the interim. We are so grateful for their willingness to serve in this role so that we can quickly fill this position,” Rife said.
Cardinal News is accepting applications with a preference for an experienced journalist capable of connecting the dots on important economic, political and cultural stories.
“It’s a rarity in today’s world of journalism to be able to guarantee that a reporting position will remain for a minimum of three years,” Rife said. “The grant will allow us time to build broader financial support in the region that will then continue to support a dedicated reporter.”
Editor Dwayne Yancey said, “This journalist will be called upon to cover both political and cultural stories as needed, but the central coverage will be the efforts to build a new economy in Southside, principally Danville and Pittsylvania County. We are looking for a journalist who has demonstrated the ability to provide context and connect the dots on stories of regional importance.”
The journalist must live in or be willing to relocate to Danville or Pittsylvania County.
“This is an excellent opportunity for a journalist who wants to practice serious journalism and tell an important story about a community in transition, a community that is journalistically underserved,” Yancey said.
Cardinal News launched in September 2021 and has quickly established itself as the go-to source for political and economic news from Southwest and Southside Virginia. It is one of 30 U.S. publications selected by Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, to participate in a reader revenue accelerator.
The hiring of a Danville-based reporter will increase Cardinal’s full-time news staff to four journalists. Cardinal continues to seek dedicated revenue to increase its staff and the depth of its reporting.
Cardinal News is looking for an experienced journalist to cover the economic rebirth of Southside Virginia, a region that once was home to mill towns and tobacco farms and now is trying to build a new economy based on advanced manufacturing. Cardinal News is an independent, nonprofit news site covering the politics, economy and culture of Southwest and Southside Virginia, two parts of our state that have often been left out of the statewide conversation and left behind by a changing economy. This journalist will be called upon to cover both political and cultural stories as needed, but the central coverage will be the efforts to build a new economy in Southside, principally Danville and Pittsylvania County. We are looking for a journalist who has demonstrated the ability to provide context and connect the dots on stories of regional importance. This journalist must live in or be willing to relocate to Danville or Pittsylvania County. This is an excellent opportunity for a journalist who wants to practice serious journalism and tell an important story about a community in transition, a community that is journalistically underserved.
Cardinal News launched in September 2021 and has quickly established itself as the go-to source for political and economic news from Southwest and Southside Virginia. Our work routinely makes the list of 10-best read articles in the state compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. We are a fiercely non-partisan site that practices old-fashioned journalism in a new digital format. Cardinal News is a nonprofit news organization, modeled similarly to public radio, and is funded by foundations, corporations and individuals. We are a member of Local Independent Online News. We are also one of just 30 news organizations around the country invited to join the Facebook Reader Revenue Accelerator program, a nine-month training program with industry leaders about ways to grow online revenue. A generous gift from the Danville Regional Foundation will support a reporter in this area for a minimum of three years.
Send resume and writing samples to Dwayne Yancey, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cardinal News is an equal opportunity employer.