Piedmont Journalism Foundation was founded in 2018 as a Virginia non-profit organization, with the mission of providing nonpartisan in-depth news coverage of important local issues, to inform and engage residents of Fauquier County and neighboring areas.
The Board of Directors are longtime residents of the Piedmont region dedicated PJF's mission.
PJF's Journalism Advisory Committee includes nationally recognized journalists committed to local journalism in the Piedmont region.
Piedmont Journalism Foundation was founded in 2018 as a Virginia non-profit organization, with the mission of informing and engaging residents of Fauquier County and neighboring areas by providing nonpartisan in-depth news coverage of important local issues through local news outlets. PJF received IRS recognition as a 501(c)(3) public charity on February 21, 2019. It operates through a board of directors and news advisory committee consisting of volunteer community members. PJF maintains editorial independence from sources of all revenue to ensure that journalists' news judgments are made in the community's interest. PJF's directors sign an annual conflict of interest form and are authorized to resolve any conflict or potential conflict of interest that arises.
In 2019 PJF contracted with experienced reporters to research and write an explanatory series of articles on the varying degree of broadband accessibility in Fauquier County and the options the country supervisors were considering extending connectivity. The series was published in the Fauquier Times newspaper, in print and online, during the summer of 2019.
PJF collaborated with Foothills Forum, a similar nonprofit news organization located in neighboring Rappahannock County, to produce a series on the opioid crisis in the region and the ripple effects on families, medical services, public and private institutions, law enforcement, and local resources. The series was published during the second half of 2019 in four weekly newspapers and in six local online news outlets in four counties.
In November 2019 PJF acquired Piedmont Media at the request of Piedmont Media’s board of directors. Three years earlier a group of 47 publicly minded local residents had formed Piedmont Media Group and purchased Fauquier Times (and the free Prince Williams Times) in order to restore the newspaper as a solid source of news and information about county affairs. Piedmont Media did strengthen the news and improved business performance, but the decade-long loss of advertising to Facebook, Google, and other websites continued. It became clear that a change to nonprofit ownership supported philanthropically by the wider community was the best course to preserve and sustain the Fauquier Times newspaper, especially since PJF’s mission aligned with that of Piedmont Media. Piedmont Media became a wholly owned subsidiary of PJF, but has continued to operate as a business with the previous newspaper staff and volunteer board of directors and leaders.
In 2020, rather than providing multi-part series on a single topic, PJF provided explanatory articles on COVID19's disruptive impact on various sectors of the community and on aspects of local life.
In 2021, PJF has provided three multipart series as well as a number of in-depth articles on land use, conservation, the environment, and cultural life.
In addition to providing in-depth local news coverage, PJF now uses funds to enable the Fauquier Times to survive and improve its journalism and operations. PJF's 2021 budget and 2020 operating results can be seen here. As the financial information indicates, PJF has had no expense for staff. That is because it has no employees and works at present on an all-volunteer basis. Freelance journalists are engaged as independent contractors.
Bo is a longtime resident of Fauquier Times and worked for 32 years at The Washington Post Company, including as publisher and CEO of The Washington Post and as vice chairman of the parent company. He left at the end of 2011 to become president and CEO of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, producer of the PBS “NewsHour,” until the enterprise was donated to WETA in 2014. He has served various boards including the board of the Associated Press, the Newspaper Association of America, the Meyer Foundation, the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, and the Cooperative Assistance Fund.
Georgia is an attorney in private practice in The Plains, Virginia. In 1987 she became the first women elected to the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, and she remains the only woman to have chaired the Board. Governor Wilder appointed her to the State Water Control Board and to a legislative advisory committee on pollution prevention. As a private attorney Georgia has worked with clients to preserve thousands of Piedmont acres as agricultural and forestall lands, primarily through the use of conservation easements and agricultural / forestall districts. Over the years Georgia has served on the boards of The Partnership for Warrenton, Friends of the Library (Fauquier), the Architectural Review Board of The Plains, Virginia, among others.
Jessica is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years. Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy. She has served as a trustee of leading national and international nonprofits, including the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Radcliffe College, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Century Foundation, the Brookings Institution, among others. She has published widely in print media and foreign policy and scientific journals and has co-authored and co-edited three books.
Bob is a longtime Middleburg resident and the executive director of Windy Hill Foundation, a local nonprofit that works to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to low and lower-income individuals, families, older adults and adults with disabilities in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties. He is a retired CPA and a former partner at the accounting firm of Yount & Hyde Barbour. Bob has served on the boards of the Windy Hill Foundation, Piedmont Child Development Center, Middleburg Community Center, Wakefield School, the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church (Upperville), the Loudoun County Commission on Aging and currently serves on the Town of Middleburg Strategic Finance Committee.
A resident of Fauquier County, Mark joined the board in May 2020. Mark is President of Larkspur Management, an investment and finance company. He has served in the U.S. Army and had a career in investment management and finance. Mark serves on boards of corporations, universities, and foundations including: The Piedmont Foundation and the Piedmont Environmental Council, EARTH University in Costa Rica, and Shenandoah University.
Karen is a resident of Fauquier County and is the senior national security correspondent and associate editor for The Washington Post. She has worked at The Post since 1975 as a foreign correspondent, bureau chief in Latin America and London, foreign editor, White House and intelligence correspondent, and national editor. Karen has received numerous awards for her reporting including the Pulitzer Prize for post 9/11 coverage. She authored a biography on Colin Powell “Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell” (2006).
Dana is a resident of Fauquier County and is an investigative reporter at The Washington Post, where she has been a reporter for over 30 years. During her tenure, she has covered intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, foreign affairs, and veterans’ issues, among others. She has won two Pulitzer Prizes for her coverage of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s slack conditions and for her reporting on the CIA’s secret prisons and counter-terrorism efforts. She is also a published author of two best-selling non-fiction books. Dana is the Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism and serves on the board of directors of Piedmont Media / Fauquier Times.
Copyright © 2020 Piedmont Journalism Foundation - All Rights Reserved. Regional photos provided by Mark Ohrstrom.