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The Marshall Project to Launch Criminal Justice News Operation in Cleveland

New support from the Gund Foundation to drive expansion of local investigative reporting

The Marshall Project, the Pulitzer prize-winning nonprofit newsroom covering criminal justice, will launch a news operation in Cleveland in 2022 with the support of the George Gund Foundation, among others, which announced a significant grant for the project this week.

The Cleveland news team will report on and expose abuses in Cuyahoga County’s criminal justice system, producing investigative, data and engagement journalism with the support of The Marshall Project’s national newsroom. The Cleveland news operation will serve local audiences — including those directly affected by the criminal justice system — who are often neglected or mischaracterized in media coverage.

“The Marshall Project has developed a real expertise in publishing journalism that has a positive impact on the criminal justice system, and we hope it will be a useful contribution to Cleveland’s media scene,” said Carroll Bogert, president of The Marshall Project. “We are grateful to the Gund Foundation and others who are making our presence in Cleveland possible.”

The Marshall Project will work collaboratively with existing local newsrooms, deploying the kind of co-publishing arrangements that have been its hallmark since being founded in 2014. The newsroom will further bolster independent journalism in the region, following last week’s announcement of a new nonprofit newsroom, from the American Journalism Project and a coalition of Cleveland area philanthropies. Earlier this month, the American Journalism Project awarded The Marshall Project a grant to help build a strategy for local news.

“The Gund Foundation is privileged to support this multi-platform media operation in Cleveland, the first-of-its-kind local news focus from the renowned team at The Marshall Project,” stated Marcia Egbert, program director at the Gund Foundation. “There is a profound need, locally, to deepen the public’s understanding of the criminal justice system and to hold power to account. The Marshall Project has a strong track record of doing just that.”

The Gund Foundation’s three-year grant will enable The Marshall Project to hire staff and build capacity. Fred Cummings, a founding board member of The Marshall Project and president of Elizabeth Park Capital Management, a Cleveland-based asset management firm, is lending additional financial support, along with national funders of The Marshall Project.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with the people of Cleveland to expand accountability reporting on criminal justice,” said Susan Chira, editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project. “We will look to the Cleveland community, including incarcerated people and their families, as partners in sourcing and identifying urgent stories that need to be told.”

The Marshall Project is currently hiring an Editor-in-Chief for Cleveland. That job posting is here. For more information on the Gund Foundation’s work and grantees, visit https://gundfoundation.org/.

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The Marshall Project produces journalism that makes an impact. Our investigation into violence using police dogs prompted departments from Indiana to Louisiana to change their policies. Thousands of cameras were installed in the infamous Attica prison after we revealed the extent of violent abuse by guards. Municipalities stopped charging parents for their kids’ incarceration because of our reporting. Supreme Court justices have cited us, along with incarcerated people acting as their own lawyers.

The type of reporting we practice takes persistence, skill and, above all, time, which is why we need your support. Thanks to generous readers like you, The Marshall Project has already raised nearly $25,000 of our $100,000 goal during our year-end campaign. The funds we raise now are going to be essential to sustaining this important work. We’ve still got a long way to go to reach our goal, though.

To help us get there, a generous group of donors will be matching all new donations. They’ve pledged $100,000 in matching funds and are matching donations dollar-for-dollar until our December 31 deadline. Will you join The Marshall Project today and double the impact of your donation?

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