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At The National Trust for Local News, we are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalistic integrity and transparency in our publications. Our approach is guided by a deep respect for the rich heritage of independent and ethical journalism, which we proudly maintain across all National Trust-owned publications.


Local editorial independence is a cornerstone of our operations. We believe in the autonomy of our local newsrooms, whose staff exclusively determine the pursuit, timing, and content of stories. Our commitment to local editorial decision-making is fundamental to public accountability and aligns with the long-standing tradition of editorial independence and integrity within our publications. 

Our publications follow the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, ensuring fair, thorough, and accurate reporting.


Philanthropy has a critical role to play in supporting the conservation, transformation, and sustainability of community news sources. Our gift acceptance policy is informed by the principles established by the Institute for Nonprofit News and the American Journalism Project. These standards ensure that while we welcome philanthropic support of our efforts, we do not allow it to influence local editorial decisions. 


As a policy, the National Trust for Local News welcomes donations that comply with the following guidelines:

  •  Unrestricted donations of cash or publicly-traded stocks or bonds from individual   philanthropists, family foundations, institutional funders, and corporate partners   are generally accepted, provided the donor is willing to abide by this policy.

  •  The National Trust for Local News declines donations from political parties, elected   officials, or candidates actively seeking public office.

  •  The National Trust for Local News will consider restricted donations, if aligned with   strategy and priorities.

  •  The National Trust for Local News will disclose donations of $5,000 or more.

  •  The National Trust only accepts gifts from donors whose identity can be verified by   the leadership and Board. While we seek to minimize donations from individuals and   institutions who intend for their giving to remain private, we respect donor privacy   where required by grant or gift agreements. The National Trust Board reserves the   right to review donor privacy requirements as a condition of accepting the gift. 

  •  The organization’s executive leadership and Board may reject donations from sources   that do not align with NTLN’s stated values or whose acceptance would meaningfully   damage the reputation of the organization.

  •  If an existing donor engages in disqualifying behavior or the National Trust for   Local News learns about disqualifying behavior in the past, the executive leadership   team may notify the donor (and the board) that further donations are not welcome.

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