Dec. 27, 2016 10:46 AM
[Editor's Note to IND readers: The appeal below is from Steve Beatty, publisher of nonprofit The Lens, and is directed at readers like you who value high-quality journalism and are willing to pay for it. While The Lens is New Orleans-based, many of the public policy stories it reports are important to Lafayette-area readers and appear at theind.com. Please consider making a donation by Jan. 19.]

Dear reader,

I’m writing to tell you about a major commitment that a national journalism foundation has made to The Lens, and I’m asking you to join them in an important effort.

For the next month, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will match your tax-deductible donation to The Lens, up to $1,000. The foundation is doing this, in part, to combat the rise of fake news by strengthening nonprofit news outlets with solid records of honest, fearless nonpartisan reporting.

The Lens is one of 57 organizations Knight is supporting nationwide, and one of only a dozen dedicated to online coverage of a local community. This is an incredible vote of confidence in The Lens — and in New Orleans.

As someone who appreciates the public-interest reporting of The Lens, you’ve already shown your appreciation unique local news that’s making a difference in our community.

Please make a donation and become a member of The Lens community today — so your gift will go twice as far. If you’re already a member, thank you. I’d be grateful if you would consider another contribution during this matching period, or help spread the word about The Lens to others.

Steve Beatty is the publisher and chief executive officer of The Lens. He worked as an editor for The Times-Picayune for 15 years, leaving New Orleans just before Katrina to take a position as an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and quickly rising through the ranks to be an editor of the newspaper’s watchdog investigative team. He returned to New Orleans in May of 2009. He can be reached at (504) 655-2375.