Neil Barsky stated on Thursday that he would step down as chairman of the Marshall Challenge, the nonprofit investigative information group he founded in 2014 that focuses on inequities within the American felony justice system.
In Mr. Barsky’s seven years on the helm, the outlet received two Pulitzer Prizes, together with this year’s prize for national reporting, and expanded to 54 staff and a funds of almost $12 million, whereas providing a template for sustainable nonprofit journalism.
A former monetary journalist who made his fortune as a hedge fund supervisor, Mr. Barsky is now set to pursue a brand new funding enterprise that will assist and supply capital to feminine and minority asset managers. He stated in an interview that he wished the brand new group to “embrace the beliefs of a multiracial democracy” whereas incomes some cash, too.
His departure is in some methods a mark of maturity for the Marshall Challenge, which has punched above its weight as a producer of high-impact journalism. Its investigations uncovered, amongst different topics, an epidemic of assaults by police canine and a botched investigation of a rape in Washington State, which won the 2016 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.
Pulitzers have been “not the aim, nevertheless it’s a fantastic factor to realize,” Mr. Barsky stated. “We achieved journalistic credibility a lot faster than I may have imagined.”
Liz Simons, a philanthropist and an advocate for felony justice reform, will succeed Mr. Barsky as chair of the Marshall Challenge. Carroll Bogert will stay president, with oversight of enterprise affairs. Its newsroom will proceed to be led by Susan Chira, a former editor and correspondent at The New York Instances.
Mr. Barsky’s exit “doesn’t change our foundational approach of being,” Ms. Chira stated. “Philanthropically supported nonprofit journalism is a approach to assist tackle the disaster the place native newsrooms are gutted and there are diminished sources to do accountability reporting.”
Within the interview, Mr. Barsky stated he was leaving partially in order that he could possibly be extra outspoken on political and coverage issues. He stated he had felt “mildly constrained” because the chief of a journalistic outlet, which he wished to stay neutral and nonpartisan.
He stated his focus had just lately shifted towards “the cowardice of the enterprise group, notably the monetary group, to face up in opposition to threats to our democracy and our beliefs.” The sphere of cash administration, he stated, is overdue for a looking on range and inclusion, and he desires his new fund to profit “huge expertise on the market that has been missing for capital.”
In a letter to his workers on Thursday, Mr. Barsky stated the group was “in very good arms” and declared its mission unfinished. “It’s value reminding ourselves that the American felony justice system stays a nationwide shame,” he wrote. He additionally urged his staff to “by no means lose our sense of concern,” whilst he emphasised a perception that the facility of journalism stemmed from a public notion of independence.
“The general public’s skepticism concerning the media has by no means been better,” he wrote. “The miracle potion of the Marshall Challenge is that we’re truth-seekers and storytellers. That is our franchise, and as soon as misplaced, could be very troublesome to recuperate.”