Martinsville, Va. — Cardinal News, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization covering Southwest and Southside Virginia, is expanding its footprint in Martinsville-Henry County (MHC) by hiring a local reporter.
The Harvest Foundation made a three-year investment of $300,000 to fund the new position. Harvest Program Officer DeWitt House said with more than 150 years of combined experience in journalism, Cardinal News brings a unique product to Martinsville-Henry County.
“Since its launch in September 2021, Cardinal News consistently develops factual and unbiased news coverage that benefits our entire community,” House said. “Cardinal News tells stories that matter, whether it’s in-depth coverage on population changes at a local level, or a spotlight on issues in Richmond (Virginia) and how they affect Martinsville-Henry County. High-quality journalism creates a well-informed community and allows decision-makers outside Martinsville-Henry County to create policies that positively affect our lives.”
This investment directly aligns with Harvest’s strategic plan goal of developing a Vibrant Community by building a connected and revitalized MHC to attract and retain residents.
House added, “Growing a positive future for Martinsville-Henry County residents starts with education. Healthy communities with access to high-quality information empower residents to make up their own minds from factual stories with diverse voices.”
Cardinal News is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization sustained by grants and donations. All published content is free for readers to enjoy. The organization began publishing on Sept. 27, 2021 following a fundraising campaign aided by generous donors including The Secular Society, Carilion Clinic, Dominion Energy, and American National Bank & Trust.
“We created Cardinal News out of concern that people living in our communities were no longer getting stories that helped them understand themselves, their neighbors and their business, and because leaders in Virginia’s economic and political centers could too easily forget about us,” said Luanne Rife, executive director. “Journalism bridges the knowledge gap through independent and unbiased reporting, and we are so grateful to the Harvest Foundation for supporting us so that we can better serve Martinsville and Henry County.”
Cardinal News is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, LION Publishers and the Online News Association, and adheres to stringent ethical and transparency guidelines.
In addition to providing in-depth reporting on political, economic, and cultural topics, Cardinal News goes above and beyond for the communities they serve. A partnership with the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council and the Virginia Tech Research Center supported a speaker series, the first of which was moderated by Virginia author and journalist Beth Macy with guest Ro Khanna, a U.S. congressman from Silicon Valley.
The second event featured Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, and was held at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
“We strive to bring relevant speakers to our communities so that ideas and people can connect in a way that will make a positive impact,” Rife said. “Although we print stories in a new medium, we subscribe to the old-fashioned notion that news organizations should play an integral role in keeping communities vibrant through information.”