Decimated by declines in circulation and advertising revenue and competition from online news sources, nearly 2,000 U.S. newspapers have ceased operations since 1994. Weekly newspapers that sourced local news for small town and rural readers have been particularly hard hit, creating news deserts in many parts of the country. Meanwhile, journalists at surviving newspapers have been stretched to the limit by the layoffs and buyouts that dropped 38,000 reporters and editors from newsroom payrolls between 2008 and 2018. The Hechinger Report was launched in 1995 as The Hechinger Institute, to provide support and professional development to education journalists. It is named for the late Fred Hechinger, a highly respected New York Times education writer.
The Hechinger Report, a pioneer in non-profit journalism, fills the gap in contemporary education journalism with a staff of editors, reporters and digital journalists who provide in-depth coverage of the education issues that touch students and their families at the national, state and — most critically — local levels.
The work of The Hechinger Report is grounded in the belief that independent, reputable investigative journalism is desperately needed at a time when balkanized politics and concern about “fake news” have undermined trust in the media and threaten our democratic society. The Hechinger Report’s focus on education elevates one of the most important issues of our time and a critical public good that sorely needs more reporting. Liz Willen is Editor-in-Chief of The Hechinger Report and Sarah Garland is Executive Editor.
Our mission is to write about problems, but, even more importantly, to proffer solutions to the most pressing education issues of our time.
The Hechinger Report looks at how education is changing, what works and what doesn’t work. We spend a lot of time looking at research. But we also spend a lot of time in classrooms to find out if new ways of learning can help close the achievement gap, how they motivate students and whether teachers are properly trained in the new methods. It’s a whole new way of reporting on how education is going to look both now and in the years ahead.
The Hechinger Report’s staff of 20, including 14 reporters and editors, provide groundbreaking coverage that is shaping policy and influencing the way children learn in classrooms throughout the nation.
“We have great relationships with big players like The New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio. But we are also intensely involved in local partnerships, and that is of equal, if not more, importance. There are stark problems in rural and small towns that speak to national themes. And working with local partners is where Hechinger can make the biggest impact because education policy is made at the state level. For example, its partnership with Hechinger has helped The Clarion Ledger [based in Jackson, Mississippi] do high-impact, award-winning journalism despite severe newsroom cutbacks.” — Sarah Garland, Executive Editor
The Lumina Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other benefactors fund an annual operating budget of $3.9 million.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and National Public Radio, along with local print, broadcast and digital news outlets
From Mary Swartz Rose and Lawrence Cremin to George Bond and Joan Gussow, the legacy of many of TC's greatest teacher-scholars is carried on through TC's tribute scholarships.
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