Mission, Values and Policies
The North Dakota News Cooperative will provide diverse, reliable, and contextual reporting on issues and events that impact the lives of North Dakotans.
The North Dakota News Cooperative will 1) increase access to quality journalism 2) advance news literacy across the state.
-- Accuracy: We must strive to report facts accurately or we will lose our credibility.
-- Independence: We believe independence is a cornerstone of reliability.
-- Impartiality: We seek out multiple sources, disclose as much as possible about sources, and ask for comment from those with varied perspectives.
-- Accountability: We are accountable for our work, prepared to accept criticism and publicly correct all factual errors in our reporting. Whenever a factual error in our reporting is confirmed we will take immediate steps to correct it on our own platforms as well as in any newspapers or other media that have published, in print or online, reporting that contains the error.
EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE: The North Dakota News Cooperative retains full authority over editorial content to ensure the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain clear separation between news decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute 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, without regard for donor support.
NDNC may consider donations supporting the coverage of particular topics, but we maintain editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
We will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization.
FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY: 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. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.
We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Board members and officers must not use their positions improperly for their own private benefit or in a manner that has an adverse effect upon the interests of the cooperative, or engage in any activity that may reasonably appear to be improper relative to its charitable purposes and mission.
Members of the board, officers, prospective members of the board, and prospective officers must promptly disclose, in writing, any circumstances that may present a conflict of interest. The material facts about the NDNC proposed business relationship with the other party and the nature of the Director or officers’ interest that presents a conflict must be fully disclosed to the Board of Directors or to any such committee involved in the consideration, recommendation or authorization of that matter.
A Director presenting a conflict or potential conflict of interest must abstain from voting on the matter involved and that director’s presence will not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum.
In addition, if requested by the chair of the board, or by the chair of the committee involved in the matter, the director or officer involved will refrain from participating in the discussion of that matter and, if requested, will be excused from the meeting while that matter is being discussed and voted upon.
GOVERNANCE: The board of directors is responsible for overall policy and direction of the organization, and may delegate responsibility of day-to-day operations to the staff and committees. The board shall be comprised of no more than 9 directors and no less than 5 directors. At least one third of the directors must have been employed or active in the North Dakota newspaper industry in the past five years. Directors receive no compensation other than reasonable expenses.
All directors shall serve three-year terms and are eligible to serve up to three consecutive terms.
Current officers are: Jill Denning Gackle, Garrison, ND, co-chair, and Steve Andrist, Bismarck, ND, co-chair.
Current directors are: Jill Denning Gackle, Garrison, ND; Steve Andrist, Bismarck, ND; Tom Gerhardt, Bismarck, ND; Hal Gershman, Grand Forks, ND; Eric Hardmeyer, Bismarck, ND; Mary Jo Hotzler, Fargo, ND; Mike Jacobs, Grand Forks, ND; Cynthia Lindquist, Fort Totten, ND; Cecile Wehrman, Crosby, ND.
SIGNIFICANT DONORS -- 2022:
North Dakota Newspaper Association Education Foundation $50,000
John and Elaine Andrist Charitable Trust $50,000
Marcil Family Foundation $10,000