MLK50 is guided by the industry’s best practices, specifically the Institute for Nonprofit News’ guidelines for Editorial Independence & Donor Transparency and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.

Editorial Independence Policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Donor Transparency

We subscribe to standards of transparency adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We will make public all donors who give $5,000 or more per year.

As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

Here is a list of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism’s largest donors since it launched in April 2017.


The Burroughs Foundation, Inc. (2017)
The Jeanne and Frank Jemison Fund (2017)
Gayle Rose (2018)
Rebecca Wilson (2017)


Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (2017)
FedEx Foundation (2017)
 Grizzlies Charitable Foundation (2017)


Community Change (2017, 2018 and 2019)


Surdna Foundation (2017, 2018 and 2019)

Click here to make your tax-deductible donation today.


We subscribe to the Society of Professional Journalists’s Code of Ethics.

Seek Truth and Report It: Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Minimize Harm: Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Act Independently: The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Be Accountable and Transparent: Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

This story is brought to you by MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit reporting project on economic justice in Memphis. Support independent journalism by making a tax-deductible donation today. MLK50 is also supported by Community Change and the Surdna Foundation. Community LIFT serves as our fiscal sponsor.