The Objective is a nonprofit newsroom holding journalism accountable for past and current systemic biases in reporting and newsroom practices. 

The Objective is a nonprofit newsroom examining systems of power and inequity in journalism: how newsrooms treat their employees, how journalists interact with their community, and what new forms of journalism can look like.

Writ large, mainstream newsrooms have never reflected the diversity of the U.S., nor have they been welcoming to journalists of color.

Editors at The New York Times initially refused to print the word “gay” in the paper and intentionally ignored covering the AIDS crisis. The Washington Post hired its first Black journalist in 1952 (he left after two years). And the Los Angeles Times’s Editor-in-Chief, in 2020, admitted that the paper “fomented the hysteria that led to Japanese American incarceration, the Zoot Suit Riots, redlining and racial covenants.”

Despite all this, major American newsrooms have called themselves objective for generations. But their coverage has always been defined by homogenous teams that fail to account for race, gender, class, disability, and sexuality. Despite holding up objectivity as journalism’s gold standard, major U.S. newsrooms have never consistently lived up to their promised ideals of fairness and impartiality.

By now, journalists are aware of the inequity embedded into the way journalism is practiced. What our field needs is solutions.

Founded remotely in 2020 as a volunteer-run collective, The Objective is a nonprofit newsroom examining systems of power and inequity in journalism. We believe in journalism’s ability to be both representative of communities around the U.S. and thoughtful of how coverage is written for (not just about) them. We believe in building collective and narrative power for communities that have been misrepresented or dismissed in order to change the way journalism is practiced in the U.S. We believe there’s a better way to practice journalism—and we’re exploring how to make it happen.

The Objective is a fiscally sponsored project of and a member publication of the Institute for Nonprofit News. All donations are tax-deductible.

Leadership Team

Photo of Gabe Schneider

Gabe Schneider

Co-Executive Director

Based in California, his work has been published in MinnPost, Texas Tribune, and LA Magazine.

Janelle Salanga

Co-Executive Director

The Central Valley is something that can be so personal to them — by day they help cover it at CapRadio.

Marlee Baldridge

Marlee Baldridge

Business Administrator

She has written for RJI, the American Press Institute, and Nieman Lab.

Curtis Yee

Newsletter Editor

He is a religion and culture reporter based in Sacramento, CA.

Holly Piepenburg
Holly Rosewood

Holly Rosewood

Newsletter Manager

She graduated from Southern Illinois University and is a Pulitzer Center program manager.

Nawar Nemeh

Social Media Manager

Nawar Nemeh (He/Him/His) is a reporter, researcher, and social media consultant based in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Advisory Board

In order to offer feedback and advice on our direction, The Objective maintains an advisory board of journalists and advocates in order to better pursue our mission. As of now, this includes:

Karen K. Ho is the business of sustainability reporter at Business Insider. Prior to this, she was the global finance and economics reporter at Quartz. Her work has appeared in CJR, TIME, GQ, NBC News, Toronto Life, and many others.

Hanaa’ Tameez is a staff writer for Nieman Lab where she covers journalism innovation. She was previously the diversity reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram covering marginalized communities in Tarrant County, Texas. Her work has appeared in The Juggernaut, The Wall Street Journal, Americas Quarterly, and others.

Tanvi Misra is a writer and multimedia journalist based in Washington DC. Her work has appeared in CQ Roll Call, The Atlantic, Bloomberg CityLab, The Fuller Project, NPR, and the BBC. She covers issues relating to migration, justice, and urbanism.

Adriana Lacy is a senior associate for audience and growth at Axios and an adjunct lecturer at the University of Southern California. She’s also the founder of journalism mentors, a website dedicated to fostering the next generation of journalists through mentoring and paid internship listings.

Stacy Fernández helps newsrooms launch and grow sustainable membership programs as a project manager at The News Revenue Hub. Prior to the Hub, Stacy did equity-driven reporting on the breaking news and education beat at The Texas Tribune.

Anjali Khosla is an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Design at The New School, where she teaches courses on South Asian journalism, the intersections of art and journalism, and the ethics and history of journalism. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Guardian, Fast Company, and the New York Daily News.

Anita Varma leads the Solidarity Journalism Initiative at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (Santa Clara University) and leads Programs for SPJ NorCal as a board member. Her research, teaching, and public engagement focus on the social justice implications of how journalists represent marginalized communities. 

Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright is a writer, activist, and social impact consultant. She is the creator of Ballot Breakers, a blog series interviewing young progressive candidates and electeds reshaping our government. Lacy previously served as the Associate Director of BLD PWR, an initiative founded by actor and activist Kendrick Sampson to mobilize the entertainment industry in support of grassroots organizations.

Cordelia Yu is a content strategy and civic technologist at the intersection of digital service design, institutional change, and decolonization. For the last few years, she has been at 18F, where she leads the content strategy team and helps improve how the government serves the public. Previously, she worked supporting communities of journalists at OpenNews, as well as in environmental justice and science policy. She has a penchant for community-driven crowdsourced writing projects.

Mohamed Al Elew is a data reporter for Reveal from The Center of Investigative Reporting. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of California San Diego, where he was a research scholar at the Data Science Institute and served as editor-in-chief of The Triton, the school’s independent student newsroom. 

Our Supporters

While our leadership team is all volunteer, we rely on reader support to ensure our contributors get paid equitably for their work. Your tax-deductible donations help us compensate our writers and cover operational costs. You can donate here.

We maintain a public list of all organizations that donate to The Objective, as well as all donations of more than $5,000 in a year:

Indiegraf • Google News Initiative • Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation • National Association of Science Writers • Project Voice • Democracy Fund • Center for Cooperative Media • Community Information Co-Op • LION Publishers • Election SOS & Hearken • Missouri School of Journalism • Open News • Reynolds Journalism Institute

Editorial Independence Policy

While we accept donations and support from individuals and organizations, our editorial direction is defined internally. As such, there is a firewall between money accepted by The Objective and the specific stories and articles we publish. 

The Objective may accept financial support for reporting on specific topics or coverage areas, but we determine what the coverage looks like and retain full rights to and editorial control of stories. 

Quotes or paragraphs may be shared with sources for accuracy, but we never share full stories with anyone outside of our organization prior to publication. 

Acknowledgment: The Objective created this policy in accordance with standards developed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, with additional guidance from the editorial independence policies and guidelines of The Trace.

Become a sustaining member of The Objective!

Help us examine systems of power and inequity in journalism

We’ve refined our mission and we have a plan to shift the way journalism is done — but we need 33 sustaining members to put it into action. Will you join us today?

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