The Yakima Valley Community Foundation, Microsoft and the Yakima Herald-Republic are partnering to help make essential news free for all who live in the Yakima Valley. Together we can secure the future of local journalism in our community and provide an essential service to all who call the Yakima Valley home.

Join us – together, we can ensure that we can all have the tools to make decisions about our children’s education, keep up to date on public safety issues, access quality healthcare, stay informed about our local business community as employers and employees, and help keep our elected officials accountable.

With your support, we’ll hire an essential news team comprised of 14 journalists and editors that will provide essential news at no cost on and through El Sol. This will expand coverage by the Yakima Herald-Republic, with more reporters covering critical issues that affect Yakima Valley. Essential news articles will be available in front of the paywall in both English and Spanish, with no subscription required.


U.S. newsroom jobs have dropped 51% since 2008. More than one in five local newspapers in the U.S. has closed, leaving two thirds of counties with no daily newspaper. More than 500 newspapers that closed or merged since 2004 are in rural communities, which are left without access to crucial information about what's happening where they live. The Yakima Free Press Campaign seeks to protect local news in our region, so local content decisions are made by editors who live here themselves.

Sources: Pew Research Center and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s “The Expanding News Desert” study

Direct donations to the Yakima Free Press Campaign go to the Community Journalism Fund at the Yakima Valley Community Foundation to support access to news and information that increases community involvement, improves equity and helps the entire region thrive. The campaign is a collaboration of the Yakima Valley Community Foundation, Microsoft and the Yakima Herald-Republic. Learn more in our FAQ section.


Local newspapers increase civic engagement, voter turnout, the number of candidates running for office and constituents' influence on their government officials. Local reporting has a direct impact on public health, policy, safety, education and the environment. In-depth coverage of uniquely local issues creates a stronger, more connected and more equitable community.


The Valley's community has deep, strong roots and a rich history of growing the fruit that feeds America and the hops that fuels the beer industry in the U.S. and around the world. Built on the ancestral lands of the Yakama nation, Yakima Valley depends on the land, air and water for a thriving agriculture industry. We take pride in our region’s stark, natural beauty. The outdoors are woven into the daily fabric of our community, which is enhanced by a growing Latino community and proximity to the Yakama nation.


Community funding helps create original journalism that digs deep into local issues. Recent community grants made the following projects possible, impacting daily lives.


El Sol de Yakima serves Yakima Valley’s majority community with Spanish-language coverage, including translations of Yakima Herald-Republic news and original stories. As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the nation, El Sol de Yakima and Radio KDNA expanded coverage to provide fact-based information in Spanish to help the community protect itself. Increased coverage led to a 77% increase in readership last year.


Dozens of Native women and girls have vanished in and around the Yakama reservation, murdered or missing, usually with no closure and no one held to account. The Vanished, a project of the Yakima-Herald Republic, tracks the epidemic violence against Native women and efforts to end it, publishing a compiled list of the missing and their stories and amplifying advocacy at the state and national levels.


Washington state’s declining childcare sector is edging out young learners, impacting children, families, childcare providers and the Central Washington economy. The Growth Gap reporting series at Yakima Herald-Republic examines why childcare is so difficult to find in Yakima Valley, spotlights parent and provider perspectives, and examines long-term outcomes for early learners.

Beneficiaries of the Community Journalism Fund maintain editorial control over content produced with fund resources. Funders do not have any input into the reporting of stories or into any of the specific content that will be produced with fund resources. Funders are not aware of specific stories newsroom or journalists that receive funding are working on and do not review them before publication. Funders do not have special access to reporters, and readers know who our funders are.

Community Journalism Fund is a component fund of the Yakima Valley Community Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) organization. Yakima Valley Community Foundation has exclusive legal control over all funds received. Accordingly, contributions to the Fund are treated for tax purposes as gifts to a Section 501(c)(3) public charity and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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