Legal Defense Fund

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“If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects.” – Former Supreme Court Justice Lewis Brandeis

The Legal Defense Fund assists NewsFundr journalists who are forced to file Freedom of Information lawsuits to gain access to public information from local governments. At NewsFundr, we believe sunshine is the best disinfectant, and that a journalist’s personal financial situation should not be what determines whether an investigation continues.

NewsFundr Legal Defense Fund also supports journalists who are detained in the course of their work, or who find themselves with a legal issue directly related to their work, freedom of information laws, or press freedom in general.

Readers can support the Legal Defense Fund by subscribing below, and by contributing to the crowdfunding campaigns of specific cases as they occur. Assistance is provided to journalists who apply on a rolling, case-by-case basis.

Michelle Carter

Michelle Carter is NewsFundr's founder. She is a veteran community journalist who has worked at a number of daily and weekly newspapers in the NorthEast. She earned a New York State Associated Press Managing Editors Association award in 2001 for her work on a series about investing and the business climate in New York City’s northern suburbs after the September 11 terrorist attacks. She was also a New England Press Association award nominee in 2002.

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Pro Publica

Pro Publica

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With a team of more than 50 dedicated reporters and editors, ProPublica covers a range of topics including government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, health care, immigration, and technology. To support Pro Publica's work, visit