Verite, a non-profit news organization with a mission to produce in-depth journalism that seeks to uplift the community as a whole and foster a new generation of diverse journalists, will launch its New Orleans newsroom this fall.

Our metropolitan area, with its unique culture and natural resources, has been left behind compared to similar national metropolitan areas. Delving into perspectives from communities that have been historically dismissed or ignored, we will create thoughtful, positive community conversations focusing on the crucial, fundamental topics such as education, housing, health care, criminal justice, the environment and politics to help our community reach its full potential.  Verite will explore inequities and elevate solutions to problems that include the racial wealth gap, gentrification, health care disparities, voter disenfranchisement, mass incarceration and chronic poverty. 

Guided by executive director David Francis and editor-in-chief Terry Baquet, two Black leaders with rich roots in New Orleans, Verite will provide a complement to existing news organizations through extensive coverage of neighborhoods, communities and cultures that make the city and region unique. 

Francis is a former Times-Picayune publisher and civic leader who also serves on the board of Liberty Bank, one of the oldest Black-owned banks in the nation. Baquet is a former Times-Picayune managing editor who was the Page 1 editor on the team that won two Pulitzers in 2006 for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. 

Tim Morris, a veteran of journalism who worked for newspapers in Texas, Oklahoma and New Jersey and was part of teams that won three Pulitzer Prizes during a career at The Times-Picayune, will serve as managing editor. 

Funded, in part, by a $2 million grant from the Ford Foundation, the independent, non-partisan newsroom will be built on the pillars of TRUTH, FACTS and FAIRNESS.

The Verite board includes National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, Essence Magazine founder Ed Lewis, Liberty Bank President Alden MacDonald, author and Tulane professor Walter Issacson, entrepreneur Leith Hill and partner at Phelps Dunbar Law Firm Kim Boyle. 

In partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other organizations, Verite will vigorously recruit a diverse staff that includes people of color, those from the LGBTQ+ community and those with non-traditional journalism backgrounds to gain experience in digital reporting, visual journalism, podcasts and more. 

Fellowships, internships and other opportunities also will be available as Verite makes a commitment to training a new generation of journalists for a challenging future. 

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Terry Baquet is a 28-year veteran of | The Times-Picayune and a lifelong New Orleanian. He served as Sunday Editor and was the Page 1 Editor during the paper’s Katrina coverage, which won two...