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Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to deploy $1 Million Bezos gift, its largest ever, on local level

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO and the Washington Post’s owner, is giving $1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The gift, announced at the Freedom of the Press Awards Dinner, is the largest personal contribution in the RCFP’s history. “It’s an institution-changing gift for us,” said Bruce Brown, the RCFP’s executive director. “We’re always generating new ideas of what we could be doing to support and serve journalists, but financial constraints can get in the way—and this gift opens up the breadth of the work we could do.” In the past year, the RCFP has announced, among other gifts and grants, $300,000 from the Ford Foundation, $300,000 from the Heising-Simons Foundation, $150,000 from the Barr Foundation, $800,000 from the Democracy Fund, and $450,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. All of them came after the election of President Donald Trump, who has spent much of his time in office (and before that as a candidate) growling at the press. The Bezos gift will enable the RCFP to expand its efforts to help state and local journalists and news organizations, hard hit by the industry’s changing economics.