After 11 years as an informal network, Journalism That Matters became a 501(c)(3) in 2012. Over 1,700 alumni have participated in JTM-sponsored events that have inspired new ideas, projects, partnerships, and a variety of journalistic ventures. This is how we define our organization today…


Journalism That Matters supports and equips the adventurers who transform relationships between communities and journalism for a strong, inclusive democracy.


Our vision is a transformed relationship between communities and journalism. Communities and journalism thrive when journalists and the people they serve connect with each other to discern what is essential for the well-being of people, their communities, and democracy.

What do we mean by “journalism that matters?”

Journalism matters most when it helps people be a community. It identifies and meets people’s information needs. It connects us with one another. It fosters understanding and builds capacity to ensure communities and democracy work for all. By being accessible and welcoming, it enables individuals and communities to heal, nurture, and create.

What We Do

We host transformative convenings and support others in learning to do the same. We equip groups to reimagine their media systems from the community out by engaging them around gnarly questions. We do this by:
Influencing the influencers by inspiring new concepts, like engaged journalism, to emerge where none existed.

  • Giving people the experience of engaging across differences—becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable—and equipping them to practice it themselves.
  • Holding space for collective insight making.
  • Convening, offering theory and practice, and catalyzing collective thought leadership.

Who We Serve

JTM serves those who are shaping the evolving news and information ecosystem: emerging and traditional journalists and others who contribute to civic discourse, such as educators, information technologists, planners, storytellers, and librarians.

Design Principles

  • Creating space for all people to be their authentic selves and belong.
  • Equipping journalists and their allies to support communities in engaging creatively, compassionately, and constructively.
  • Working at our learning edges.
  • Applying practical, systemic perspectives. 
  • Using an optimistic eye, building on what’s working to bring hopes and dreams to life.
  • Partnering with others committed to making change.
  • Approaching work as inquiry — bringing more questions than answers, more listening than telling — so that trust, compassion, curiosity, and community grow.