Gift fuels journalist training programs, open-government litigation and press freedom defense work
The First Amendment Coalition today announced a $100,000 gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to support the nonprofit’s work advancing government transparency, free speech and a free press.
The gift comes during an especially critical time for combatting government secrecy and threats to the First Amendment. Americans are demanding answers about police misconduct and the government’s response to the global pandemic. FAC is fighting in court to increase police transparency and has answered an unprecedented amount of calls for help from the press and public seeking access to public records and meetings.
“A healthy democracy means an informed democracy. Access to public information and a strong press equipped to get it in the hands of the electorate are key components,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. “FAC provides resources and services essential to all of these things, and thus to the broader project of civic engagement.”
“This generous support means more facts in the hands of more reporters and more public participation in civic affairs,” said FAC Executive Director David Snyder. “We are grateful to Craig Newmark Philanthropies for recognizing the key role that access to public information and a strong First Amendment play in creating a more just society.”
The gift supports all of FAC’s programs, including those that directly strengthen reporters’ ability to do their jobs, such as a free open-government training program and the Subpoena Defense Initiative, connecting journalists in need with pro bono legal counsel to defend press freedom.
It also aids FAC’s strategic litigation program. Recently, FAC stepped in for the public in the Central Valley city of Bakersfield, demanding the local court system provide public access to hearings and trials during the pandemic, in accordance with the First Amendment right to open courts. Advocacy across California has led to improvements in remote technology allowing more people to observe their judicial system safely amid the pandemic.
About the First Amendment Coalition
FAC is a nonprofit that advances free speech, government transparency and public participation in civic affairs. FAC defends press freedom through its journalist Subpoena Defense Initiative and combats government secrecy through its strategic litigation program. Follow FAC on Twitter @FACoalition.
About Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. The organization works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families. For more information, please visit: CraigNewmarkPhilanthropies.org.