Who is holding journalism accountable?

The Objective

We are a collective of reporters who firmly believe in the power of journalism. We also believe in its ability to change for the better, to cover marginalized communities more deeply and to make newsrooms more open to people from those communities. Our work is written by and for people underrepresented in news leadership.

Major American newsrooms have for generations called themselves objective. But coverage at these outlets, at all points in time, has always been subjectively defined by homogenous newsrooms. To that end, we publish reporting, first-person commentary, and reported essays on how journalism has misrepresented or excluded specific communities in coverage, as well as how newsrooms have treated staff from those communities. 

The history is right in front of us. Editors at The New York Times initially refused to print the word “gay” in paper and intentionally ignored covering the AIDS crisis. The Washington Post hired its first Black journalist in 1952 (he left after two years). And the Los Angeles Times’s Editor-in-Chief, in 2020, admitted that the paper “fomented the hysteria that led to Japanese American incarceration, the Zoot Suit Riots, redlining and racial covenants.”

Every other Friday, we publish The Front Page, a newsletter covering the steps forward and backward newsrooms have taken to make journalism a more equitable field.  

If you have questions, you can reach us at [email protected]


Want to stay up to date? You can subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Front Page, below.


Our articles and writers have been featured by NPR, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, Poynter, CNN, the BBC, WBUR, and other outlets. Who reads The Objective?

Who we are

We are an all-volunteer collective, several of us with full-time jobs outside of this work. But we believe this kind of coverage is not an occasional way to cover journalism, but the focal point.

Masthead

Gabe Schneider is the Lead Editor and Co-Founder at The Objective. He is a journalist based in Washington D.C. He is the Washington Correspondent for MinnPost. His work has been published in The Associated Press, Texas Tribune, Los Angeles Magazine, and The Columbia Journalism Review. You can follow him @gabemschneider

Marlee Baldridge is the Administrative Director and Co-Founder at The Objective. She is a graduate student at the University of Missouri studying who makes the news (and in whose interest). She has written for the Reynolds Journalism Institute, Nieman Lab, the American Press Institute, and Pressland. You can follow her @MarleeWith2Es

Janelle Salanga is the Deputy Editor at The Objective. They are a CalMatters College Journalism Network Fellow, a team lead for the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and a current fourth-year at the University of California, Davis, studying the interplay between science, society and media. They’ve been published in CalMatters, The California Aggie and Capital Public Radio. You can follow them @janelle_cpp

Chelsea Cirruzzo is the social media manager and a contributor at The Objective. She is a health care reporter in Washington, D.C. She’s been published in DCistWashington City Paper, The Washington Post, The Lily, Eater, and more. You can follow her at @chelseacirruzzo.

Holly Piepenburg is the Newsletter Manager at The Objective. She is an outreach coordinator for the Pulitzer Center, and previously worked in broadcast television news and was a Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow in southern Illinois, where she went to college for a Radio, Television and Digital Media degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. You can follow her @HollyPiepenburg

Editorial Independence Policy

While we accept donations and support from individuals and organizations, our editorial direction is defined internally. As such, there is a firewall between money accepted by The Objective and the specific stories and articles we publish. 

The Objective may accept financial support for reporting on specific topics or coverage areas, but we determine what the coverage looks like and retain full rights to and editorial control of stories. 

Quotes or paragraphs may be shared with sources for accuracy, but we never share full stories with anyone outside of our organization prior to publication. 

We maintain a public list of all donors that give more than $1,000 in a year. We do not accept donations from political parties. If you would like to discuss a major gift, please contact us at [email protected].

Acknowledgement: The Objective created this policy in accordance with standards developed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, with additional foundation from the editorial independence policies and guidelines of The Trace.

How to Pitch Us

Please submit your pitches to [email protected]

We’re an all-volunteer collective of writers. We don’t currently pay and all editing is done on a volunteer basis.

Emails should include “Pitch: [Proposed Headline]” in the subject line. Please also include:

  • What: What is your piece about? Keep us interested, but keep the pitch short.

  • Who: Who do you expect to interview (if anyone)?

  • When: How long do you expect writing and interviews to take? When can you send us a draft?

  • Why: Why are you the best person to write this piece?

  • The Fixings: How many words do you expect your piece to be? Who do you expect to interview (if anyone)? Please also include short bio and (a maximum of three) relevant examples of previous work.