Verite 1st birthday

Verite is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week, marking the organization’s remarkable growth and impact since our launch last summer. 

Our independent, non-profit newsroom started with a stated mission to “elevate voices from communities that have been historically dismissed or ignored, to create thoughtful, solution-based coverage on crucial topics” and to create a fellowship program that helps train, educate and encourage the next generation of minority journalists.

A year later, Verite has produced compelling stories on affordable housing, government accountability, law enforcement, legislative action, quality of life and more. We recently welcomed our second class of journalism fellows, recent college graduates looking for real-world experience to become reporters, editors, photographers, videographers, producers, podcasters and documentarians. 

We have done all this while building a trustworthy news source that is free for all — no paywalls, no paid subscriptions – and news content that can be republished by anyone. We have grown from a staff with a single reporter and two editors to a staff of six reporters, four fellows and four editors by the end of August. We also have added regular local contributors that provide commentary on politics, the arts, civil rights history and Louisiana’s Indigenous population

We also created a unique video program to encourage a younger generation to become more civically engaged and informed. Porch Poppin’ distills selected website stories into short, digestible video storytelling. 

We have partnered with respected news organizations such as ProPublica, the Marshall Project, Louisiana Illuminator, the LSU Manship School of Journalism, The LSU Cold Case Project and others to provide greater access to quality news on a variety of topics. 

We have a committed team that brings you honest, reliable news not only through our website, but through our app, texting line, social media and plans for community events. We launched our efforts with listening sessions across a wide spectrum of the community and will continue to reach out for feedback and guidance on what readers truly need to make New Orleans a better place to live. 

Being a nonprofit news organization means that we are driven by a search for the truth, not a race for the dollar, and that we can focus on issues important to the community without fear or favor. 

We want to thank all those who have read and shared Verite’s work over the past 12 months and those who have chosen to become members or provide other crucial support. 

To our readers who are not yet members: thank you for your readership and engagement. I hope you’ll consider joining our community of members by making a donation. 

Our newsroom can’t wait to continue this conversation with you through another year. 

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David Francis is the retired Executive Vice President and Publisher of | The Times-Picayune, working for NOLA Media Group and its predecessor, The Times-Picayune, for more than 24 years. During...