A Change in the IRS Process for Granting Tax-Exempt Status Could be a Boon to Nonprofit News

By: Justin Ellis | Nieman Journalism Lab

It took almost a year and a half for nonprofit news site Eye on Ohio to get its tax-exempt status approved by the IRS this spring. Launched in the fall of 2012 by former business reporter Lori Ashyk, the site aims to follow the model of many smaller nonprofit news startups: reporting some of the investigative stories and statewide news that have fallen by the wayside as daily newspapers have shrank.

Ashyk knows the stories of other news nonprofits who’ve had difficulty navigating the tax-exemption process at the IRS and seen their applications disappear into a kind limbo. “Compared to some of the other news organizations, it’s not that bad,” she said.

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