Our mission

The mission of the Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation is to promote and support excellent, sustainable community journalism in the Coachella Valley.

How we work

The nonprofit Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation identifies needs in the local journalism ecosystem and seeks out grants and donations from individuals and foundations to fulfill those needs.  The CVJF is a 501 (c) 3 organziation, and all contributions are tax-deductible.

Why we exist

A free and vibrant press is one of the cornerstones of democracy. Local news outlets inform the public, hold elected officials accountable, and provide a forum for civic debate.

The traditional business model of local news enterprises — newspapers, local TV broadcasters, and community radio stations — has been disrupted by technology and battered by economic downturns, including the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, corporate interests have neglected or stripped away resources from our local news outlets, diminishing the quality and quantity of their work. The events of 2020 have brought many of these pressures to a head.

The Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation aims to improve and expand the work of news organizations in the Coachella Valley to create a better community for all. In the process, we hope to help create new, sustainable models for local journalism.

Projects

CVJF launched in 2020. Our first project was to save the opinion pages at The Desert Sun. The newspaper’s corporate parent company, Gannett, had extended buyout offers to 500 employees nationwide, including the Desert Sun’s opinion editor. These positions would not be funded going forward.

Without an opinion editor, The Desert Sun would no longer have been able to print letters to the editor, editorial cartoons, Valley Voice columns, opinion columns, guest editorials or editorials from the Editorial Board. The Desert Sun also would have been forced to discontinue endorsements of local politicians and ballot measures. The CVJF sought to raise money to retain this important role because we believe the loss of this forum would have been a significant blow to civic dialogue in our community.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, CVJF was successfully able to raise funds to allow the Desert Sun to hire a new opinion page editor. The organization continues to work to raise funds to provide ongoing financial support for this important role.

CVJF also was fortunate to obtain grant money to fund several internships in local news organizations. The organization is working to select participating newsrooms and place interns for work in the fall of 2022.

Going forward, the long-range goal of the Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation is to build a financial endowment to allow us to expand our assistance to valley news organizations. We welcome donations from the community and volunteers who can help us with outreach, fund-raising, administrative tasks and events.

How to help

Make your check payable to Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation and send to CVJF, 40845 Avenida Calafia, Palm Desert, 92260.  You will be provided a receipt by mail.

To volunteer your expertise on our board or on a committee, and for more information, send an email to CVJF President Ricardo Loretta at ricardo@cvjf.org or call 858-344-4812.