ASNE To End Fundraising Campaign That Fell Short of Goal

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By: Joe Strupp

The American Society of News Editors has announced the ASNE Foundation’s “Journalism for a New Age Endowment Campaign” will effectively end Dec. 31, 2009 after failing to meet its goal.

Launched in 2007 with a $2.5 million matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the campaign had a fundraising goal of $6.25 million. But since then, ASNE has raised $786,000 — $471,600 from members, news organizations, and foundations and $314,400 from the Knight grant match.

“The economic headwinds faced by the campaign came during a period when ASNE was at the forefront of several important First Amendment battles,” the announcement stated. “Notably, improvements to the federal Freedom of Information Act became law and a federal shield law for reporters moved closer to reality. ASNE is also a leader in the quest to assure that quality journalism thrives as the news business is reshaped by structural change.

“The Society remains committed to vigorous initiatives on both the First Amendment and future of journalism fronts. Thus, through 2009, ASNE will continue putting forth its best efforts to raise additional support for the campaign,” it added. “The Knight Foundation will match $1,125,000 in campaign donations made in 2009, at a 2:3 ratio ($2 for every $3 ASNE raises). Reaching this goal will add $1,875,000 to the endowment.”

ASNE Foundation president Edward Seaton said in a statement: “It was unfortunate that this major fundraising endeavor, the first in ASNE Foundation’s history, coincided with an unprecedented decline in ad revenues exacerbated by the national economic recession. Nevertheless, the original purpose behind the campaign remains as strong as ever: to fortify resources for ASNE’s leadership of American journalism, and maintain the independent voice of editors, now and into the future.”

All campaign donations will be invested in the ASNE Foundation endowment, ASNE stated, adding, “The matching Knight funds, also endowed, will be used to support Sunshine Week, an ASNE-led national initiative to increase public awareness about the importance of open government and freedom of information.”

For more information on the campaign, go to:

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