People using “fake news” as a synonym for journalism can frustrate those performing ethically and diligently in this industry. But frankly, the industry may have contributed to the loss of trust by not always doing a great job explaining how it works.

At the Fort Worth Report, we’re taking a different approach. Earning your trust and respect through transparency is fundamental to what we hope to accomplish for Fort Worth and Tarrant County. 

As we gear up for North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 21, we want to show you exactly how we operate — from gathering and fact-checking information to publishing articles. 

We’re also sharing how the Fort Worth Report gets funded and why your individual donations are essential to sustaining the only free and independent nonprofit newsroom serving the local area.

How our journalists report on stories

The Fort Worth Report stands strong as an independent voice for our community. Politics, finances, or personal interests do not sway us. Our commitment is to deliver news without bias, and we invite you to hold us accountable to that promise.

Today, thanks to the community’s support, we cover more of what impacts the daily lives of Fort Worth and Tarrant County residents. Coverage areas include city and county government, education, arts and culture, environment, healthcare, religion, community engagement, and business and economic development.

Story ideas within those subjects can originate from various places. Fort Worth Report journalists have areas of expertise and sources in the community who offer their knowledge and understanding of what’s happening in the world. 

But story ideas can also come from data, press releases, online activity, public records requests, and the experiences you and we have from living here.

You can submit donations for North Texas Giving Day to nonprofit organizations, including the Fort Worth Report, through Sept. 21. (Graphic created via Canva)

The story idea then goes through a thoughtful review process, where a journalist and news editor discuss the story’s impact on the community. This conversation steers our approach and guides what gets covered and how.

Fort Worth Report journalists understand the critical role accuracy in reporting plays in earning your trust. And it’s why each journalist goes through a checklist to review facts, including names, numbers, and quotes, before turning in the story to an editor.

The accuracy checklist also ensures journalists examine the fairness and clarity of the article with questions such as have all stakeholders had the chance to talk and whether the reader has the necessary context to understand the story.

Before an article hits the web, it gets fine-tuned through a dual-layered editing process. At least two editors look at the story, ensuring every word resonates with truth and clarity.

We understand our credibility lies in how accurately we report facts. Fixing mistakes when they occur also contributes to upholding our credibility and integrity with readers.

No newsroom will get information right 100% of the time. But as part of our obligation to be truthful and transparent, we promptly correct the record when errors occur by explaining what changed in the published article and why.

How your support shapes the future of our local news

Being a nonprofit news organization means all our revenue supports our mission of serving Fort Worth and Tarrant County exclusively through free and in-depth local news coverage.

The Fort Worth Report promised a different kind of journalism for you when we launched in April 2021. Our free-to-read local coverage is one aspect. We also aren’t funded by a far-off corporation. All members of our board of directors live here.

Tarrant County is a great place to live. It deserves great local journalism. It’s what we believe and why a sustainable financial future for the Fort Worth Report is so important.

Your donation to the Fort Worth Report during North Texas Giving Day will help ensure a future for free and independent local news in Tarrant County. (Graphic created via Canva)

We want to ensure we have a healthy variety of revenue sources to continue making a lasting impact in the community. Currently, our nonprofit’s funding breaks down to 75% from foundation grants, 15% from corporate sponsors and advertising, and 10% from individual contributions. 

But we know that to sustain our operation in the long haul, we need to depend less on our community’s generous foundations and rely more on our other revenue channels, including individual readers. 

Because we feel strongly that local journalism is a public service, we are committed to keeping our news free to read. We don’t think people should only be well-informed if they can afford a subscription. At the same time, we ask those who can afford to support us — whether it’s a $25 annual gift or a $25 monthly pledge – to do so. 

If our vision resonates with you and you believe in our commitment to a more informed and engaged local community, we invite you to participate in this movement; donate before or on North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 21.

We also invite you to keep us accountable for staying true to our promise to you, just as we hold others to account in our reporting. Together, we’re shaping a future of trusted, transparent, and impactful journalism for our beloved local community.

Additional details on the Fort Worth Report’s commitment to financial transparency can be found in our donor transparency policy. Individuals and organizations donating to our nonprofit organization are also publicly available.

Rocio joined the Fort Worth Report in August 2023 to fill a newly created role focused on listening, engaging and growing a community of supporters. Prior to this, she oversaw the membership program at...

Committed to strong community journalism, Thomas R. Martinez brings more than 25 years of experience as a writer and editor, mainly in Texas and Colorado. He believes strongly in five core principles of...