Friday, December 30, 2016

Please consider helping The Rural Blog and its publisher with a charitable donation today

By Al Cross, Director
Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

As you write those year-end checks to charitable causes, please consider the publisher of The Rural Blog, the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.

The institute does much more than the blog; it serves as a resource for rural journalists all over the country and for metropolitan journalists doing rural stories; conducts seminars and workshops on covering issues; conducts research on rural journalism; makes presentations at national and state news-organization meetings and universities; does a monthly issues column for the National Newspaper Association and state press associations; presents the annual Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism; co-hosts the hotline of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and stands up for the essential role of journalism in democracy.

We are always looking for ways to expand our work. In 2016 we began making appearances on RFD-TV to discuss rural issues, started a Community Journalism Community in the Society of Professional Journalists; got a new advisory-board chairman who spearheaded development of a five-year strategic plan; and was part of an effort by the Kettering Foundation and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications to make service to democracy a stronger part of journalism-school curricula.

This month, the Institute got a favorable mention in a story by Kathy Kiely of Moyers & Co. about the future of journalism. It shorthanded our name, but used one of my chronic laments:
The Rural Journalism Institute’s Al Cross, who is trying to raise money to endow his organization, expresses a similar frustration. “Nobody wants to give money for journalism unless they can compromise your independence,” he says. “Everybody’s got an agenda.”
I was speaking mainly about philanthropies, and did note some exceptions; there are some people who do give money for journalism, and we appreciate that support. It allows me to have a half-time assistant who mainly produces The Rural Blog, but our endowment needs to grow to produce enough income for a full-time assistant that would allow the Institute to come much closer to reaching its potential. At a time when journalism is under stress, outfits like ours need a strong voice to speak up for its essential role in the transparency and accountability that serve democracy.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Institute’s endowment at the University of Kentucky, via a secure Web site, click here and type “rural journalism” in the search box at the upper right to get a donation form. To contribute to our operating fund, send a check made out to the university, with "Rural Journalism" on the memo line, to the Institute at 122 Grehan Journalism Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0042. Thanks!


Jay Sennett said...


When I attempted to donate, the website says that the Institute for Rural Journalism is not yet in the catalogue.

I want to give but want to be sure I am doing so in such a way that you will receive the money for your operating fund.

Please advise and thank you!

Jay Sennett

Al Cross said...

Sorry, we were unaware that someone else in the college had created a new page for donations. This has been corrected. Sorry for the delay in replying, and thanks for your support.