Type of site
|News, political analysis & commentary, Progressivism|
|Alexa rank||21,478 (January 2017)|
Truthout is a nonprofit progressive news organization dedicated to providing daily coverage and commentary. With no advertising or corporate backing, Truthout depends on its readers and donations from foundations who support their work. Donations from individual readers have accounted for an average 81 percent of their annual budget over the last five years. Some of Truthout's main areas of focus are mass incarceration, social justice and climate change.
Truthout has published several pieces which have impacted local and national policy.
In 2016, Dahr Jamail and Truthout released exclusive Navy documents outlining plans for combat training exercises along vast non-military areas of Washington State coastline. The documents showed the areas the Navy was prepared to utilize, without the mandatory risk assessments, medical plans, surveys of training areas and coordinating their activities with local, state and federal law enforcement officials. The release of these documents forced the Navy to postpone this training for at least 2 years. It caused commotion within the Washington state government, as they weren't aware of the Navy's plans.
In 2013, Truthout journalist Mike Ludwig unearthed with a Freedom of Information Act request with the Interior Department revealed that fracking technology was being used on offshore oil rigs in the ecologically sensitive Santa Barbara Channel. Coastal conservationists were alarmed, and environmental groups sprang into action, generating protests and broad public discussion about offshore fracking. At one point, lawsuits filed by environmental groups forced federal officials to place a moratorium on offshore fracking in the Channel while regulators reviewed the practice and their rules for making it safe. In 2014, the EPA issued a new rules requiring offshore drillers to disclose fracking chemicals they dump into the ocean off the California coast.
In 2016, a Truthout investigation revealed commonplace fracking in the Gulf of Mexico, where offshore oil and gas drillers used fracking technology to maximize oil and gas production in aging undersea wells. A story broken by journalist Mike Ludwig revealed that the Obama administration had rubber-stamped 1,500 permit modifications to allow fracking in the Gulf of Mexico and had routinely excluded the practice from in-depth environmental reviews--even during the initial days of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. That investigation shined a critical light on industry's practice of mixing toxic fracking chemicals with drilling wastewater and dumping it directly into shallow waters of the Gulf. This practice was the subject of further legal challenges from environmental groups.
In September 2018, Truthout broke a story that exposed a new policy forbidding visitors to Virginia prisons that are run by the Department of Corrections from using tampons or feminine hygiene cups. The story sparked a public outcry and the policy was quickly suspended.
Marissa Alexander was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon--for firing a warning shot in what many argue was self-defense against her abusive ex-husband. An appeals court overturned her conviction, and Alexander agreed to a plea bargain that included time served for the 1,030 days she had already spent behind bars, another 65 days in jail and two years of house arrest. When her period of electronic ankle monitoring ended, and she was finally truly free, Alexander spoke to Truthout about her experience and her commitment to fight for other criminalized survivors of domestic violence. Truthout covered the role that social media and community organizing had in mobilizing for Marissa's case in the United States.
60 Minutes cited a report published at Truthout as a source for its May 16, 2010 episode about the BP oil spill and the whistleblower who warned about a possible blowout at another BP deepwater drilling site. Digital Journal wrote up the story.CNN's Randi Kaye in an article cited a report by Truthout as the first article on BP Alaska employee Mark Kovac's inside knowledge about the safety concerns at the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska BP oil field. On July 14, 2010, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing in the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. The hearing titled "The Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines (Part 2): Integrity Management", cited an investigative report by Truthout as a document for the committee's investigation.
Truthout has closely followed issues affecting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Coverage has especially focused on veteran health care and post-traumatic stress disorder. An ongoing Truthout investigation has claimed widespread neglect within the Veterans Health Administration of veterans with PTSD.
Truthout covered repeated efforts to pass "Trumpcare." They clearly outline that they are not impartial on the matter as they believe it to be an issue which is "literally a matter of life and death" for millions of Americans. Truthout has published reporting both on the fine print details of the proposed legislation and the groups who are fighting back.
Dahr Jamail was awarded the 2018 Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media for his reporting on climate change and other environmental issues. The judges wrote: "There is an urgency and passion in Dahr Jamail's reporting that is justified by the literally earth-changing subject matter. And it's supported by science and on-the-scene sources, whether covering ocean pollution, sea level rise, deafening noise pollution or Fukushima radiation."
Jamail's monthly wrap-ups of the latest climate research and trends - "Climate Disruption Dispatches" - have become an essential resource for scientists and fellow journalists.
A joint Truthout and Earth Island Journal investigation "America's Toxic Prisons" by Candice Bernd, Zoe Loftus-Farren, and Maureen Nandini Mitra won awards in two categories of the 2018 San Francisco Press Club Journalism Awards. The investigation won second place in the Magazines category for environment/nature reporting and investigative reporting.
On May 13, 2006, after Jason Leopold posted on Truthout that Karl Rove had been indicted by the grand jury investigating the Plame affair, Rove spokesman Mark Corallo denied the story, calling it "a complete fabrication". Truthout defended the story, saying on May 15 they had two sources "who were explicit about the information" published, and confirmed on May 25 that they had "three independent sources confirming that attorneys for Karl Rove were handed an indictment" on the night of May 12. The grand jury concluded with no indictment of Rove.
In his memoir, Courage and Consequence, Karl Rove addressed the Leopold article. Rove writes that Leopold is a "nut with Internet access" and that "thirty-five reporters called [Rove's defense attorney] Luskin or Corallo to ask about the Truthout report." According to Rove, "[Special Counsel] Fitzgerald got a kick out of the fictitious account and e-mailed Luskin to see how he felt after such a long day."
On August 27, 2009, a member of Truthout's board of directors signed a recognition statement by the organization of The Newspaper Guild/CWA, allowing employed writers for the site to unionize with the Newspaper Guild/CWA as their preferred bargaining representative. The site also held what it called the first-ever "virtual card check", whereby paid writers faxed PDFs of their individual signatures to members of the site's organizing committee (who were based in New York, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Chicago respectively) in order to verify their unionizing authorization cards and establish a bargaining unit of the writers. Maya Schenwar and Matt Renner stated in their article on the event that the organization was "the first online-only news site to successfully unionize".
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