What is the CSJ Foundation?


The Community Service Journalism Foundation is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that seeks grants and accepts donations to support local journalism, encourage civil dialogue and discussion, and promote civics education and the role independent journalism plays in fostering a healthy democracy and strong communities.

Education and engagement. The two go hand in hand in our democracy. Local journalists are needed to provide unbiased and factual coverage of issues that impact a community. Whether it’s construction of a road, improvement to a school or the election of a mayor – citizens need solid information and a free and open platform in which to discuss, debate – and ultimately make decisions – about the vital issues facing their communities.

Civics is defined as the study of “civic affairs and the duties and rights of citizenship.” In a democratic society, it’s every citizen’s right – and duty – to be well-informed and involved in the decision-making process that impacts their lives, their families and their society. Our initiative aims to encourage citizens to exercise that duty effectively, responsibly and with knowledge gained from honest and factual information.


  • To support, extend and sustain credible community journalism that is available to all residents, regardless of their economic status.
  • To provide credible coverage and civil discussion of specific topics of public interest that might otherwise not be sufficiently addressed.
  • To engage more citizens in civil discussions of public issues (including, when necessary, remedial coaching about how to discuss issues without resorting to personal attacks or distortion of facts).
  • To help foster a strong sense of community in particularly stressed and/or divided communities.
  • To support educational efforts that teach civics, promote journalism and civil discourse.
  • To promote public-service journalism as a philanthropic investment.