Truthout is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization that describes itself as a type of journalism in pursuit of justice. Some of Truthout's main areas of focus are mass incarceration, social justice and climate change. In 2009, Truthout became the first online-only publication to unionize.[1]

Truthout's editorial team is led by editor in chief Maya Schenwar,[2] and managing director Ziggy West Jeffery.

Notable reporting and projects

Truthout has published several pieces which have impacted local and national policy.

Movement Memos Podcast

Movement Memos is a weekly podcast hosted by activist and Truthout journalist Kelly Hayes. Started in 2020, Hayes uses interviews with activists and organizers to call listeners to action and document movement work and mutual aid efforts around the U.S.[3]

Illegal Navy training

In 2016, Dahr Jamail and Truthout released[4] Navy documents outlining plans for combat training exercises along vast non-military areas of Washington state coastline. The documents showed the areas the Navy was prepared to utilize, without the mandatory risk assessments, medical plans, surveys of training areas and coordinating their activities with local, state and federal law enforcement officials. The release of these documents forced the Navy to postpone this training for at least 2 years.[5] It caused commotion within the Washington state government, as they were not aware of the Navy's plans.[6]

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?

Truthout and Haymarket Books collaborated in 2016 to release a collection of essays and articles from Truthout about police violence against minority communities. The book, entitled Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States, included work from Truthout staff writers as well as outside contributors. In 2020, during the George Floyd protests, the book was made free for download.[7]

Offshore fracking

In 2013, Truthout journalist Mike Ludwig unearthed with a Freedom of Information Act request with the Interior Department revealed that fracking technology was being used on offshore oil rigs in the ecologically sensitive Santa Barbara Channel.[8] Coastal conservationists were alarmed, and environmental groups sprang into action, generating protests and broad public discussion[9] about offshore fracking. At one point, lawsuits filed by environmental groups forced federal officials to place a moratorium[10] on offshore fracking in the Channel while regulators reviewed the practice and their rules for making it safe. In 2014, the EPA issued a new rules requiring offshore drillers to disclose fracking chemicals they dump into the ocean off the California coast.[11]  

Safety issues at BP

60 Minutes cited a report published at Truthout as a source for its May 16, 2010 episode about the BP oil spill and the whistleblower who warned about a possible blowout at another BP deepwater drilling site.[12] Digital Journal wrote up the story.[13] CNN's Randi Kaye in an article cited a report by Truthout as the first article on BP Alaska employee Mark Kovac's inside knowledge about the safety concerns at the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska BP oil field.[14] On July 14, 2010, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing in the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. The hearing[15] titled "The Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines (Part 2): Integrity Management", cited an investigative report by Truthout as a document for the committee's investigation.[16]

Veterans' issues

Truthout has closely followed issues affecting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Coverage has especially focused on veteran health care and post-traumatic stress disorder. An ongoing Truthout investigation has claimed widespread neglect within the Veterans Health Administration of veterans with PTSD.[17][18]


Izzy Award

Dahr Jamail was awarded the 2018 Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media for his reporting on climate change and other environmental issues. The judges wrote: "There is an urgency and passion in Dahr Jamail’s reporting that is justified by the literally earth-changing subject matter. And it’s supported by science and on-the-scene sources, whether covering ocean pollution, sea level rise, deafening noise pollution or Fukushima radiation."[19]

Jamail's monthly wrap-ups of the latest climate research and trends – "Climate Disruption Dispatches"[20] – have become an essential resource for scientists and fellow journalists.

San Francisco Press Club Journalism Awards

A joint Truthout and Earth Island Journal investigation "America's Toxic Prisons"[21] by Candice Bernd, Zoe Loftus-Farren, and Maureen Nandini Mitra won awards in two categories of the 2018 San Francisco Press Club Journalism Awards.[22] The investigation won second place in the Magazines category for environment/nature reporting and investigative reporting.

Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism

In 2012, Truthout journalist Gareth Porter was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism[23] for his work uncovering the Obama administration's military strategy in Afghanistan. "In a series of extraordinary articles, Gareth Porter has torn away the facades of the Obama administration and disclosed a military strategy that amounts to a war against civilians." Amongst Porter's award-winning stories were 'How McChrystal and Petraeus Built an Indiscriminate "Killing Machine,[24]"' and 'The Lies That Sold Obama's Escalation in Afghanistan.[25]'

Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Maya Schenwar, currently the editor in chief of Truthout, was awarded in the 2013 Online Column Writing category by the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Awards[26] for her columns on mass incarceration,[27] the death penalty,[28] and solitary confinement.[29]


In 2011, Truthout suffered a hacking breach in which ten days of articles were deleted.[30]

Freelancer and Truthout writer Aaron Miguel Cantú was one of six journalists faced with felony rioting charges after covering the inauguration of Donald Trump. He was among 230 individuals detained in a mass arrest, with no court documents indicating any personal participation. He faced a maximum of 10 years prison and $25,000 if convicted.[31][32] Charges against four of the other journalists were dropped. Explanations for this were not provided.[33] Cantú was indicted on eight felony charges by a grand jury. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sent a letter of support for Cantú.[34] In July 2018, all charges against Cantu and many of the other protestors were dismissed.[35]

Leopold's Karl Rove article

On May 13, 2006, after Jason Leopold posted on Truthout that Karl Rove had been indicted by the grand jury investigating the Plame affair, Rove spokesman Mark Corallo denied the story, calling it "a complete fabrication".[36] Truthout defended the story, saying on May 15 they had two sources "who were explicit about the information" published,[37] and confirmed on May 25 that they had "three independent sources confirming that attorneys for Karl Rove were handed an indictment" on the night of May 12.[37] The grand jury concluded without returning an indictment of Rove.[38]

In his memoir, Courage and Consequence, Rove addressed the Leopold article, writing that Leopold is a "nut with Internet access" and that "thirty-five reporters called [Rove's defense attorney] Luskin or Corallo to ask about the Truthout report." According to Rove, "[Special Counsel] Fitzgerald got a kick out of the fictitious account and e-mailed Luskin to see how he felt after such a long day."[39]

Jason Leopold continued to write investigative pieces for Truthout, gaining more agreeable attention for his work on the aforementioned British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. He is now a senior investigative reporter at BuzzFeed News.[40]


Truthout is led by Editor-in-Chief Maya Schenwar, and Managing Director Ziggy West Jeffery.[41]

Truthout's Board of Directors is made up of McMaster University Professor and educational theorist Henry A. Giroux, policy director Robert Naiman, and Lewis R. Gordon.

Truthout's Board of Advisors includes Mark Ruffalo, Dean Baker, Richard D. Wolff, William Ayers, Mark Weisbrot. Howard Zinn was formerly a member of the advisory board.

See also

Truth (anti-tobacco campaign)


  1. ^ Heyward, Anna (Spring–Summer 2018). "Joining the ranks". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  2. ^ "Staff | Truthout". Truthout. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  3. ^ Hayes, Kelly. "Movement Memos Archives". Truthout. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  4. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Navy Uses US Citizens as Pawns in Domestic War Games". Truthout. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  5. ^ "Navy wants to use more Washington state parks for stealth SEAL training". The Seattle Times. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  6. ^ "Jets, helicopters, rockets: Military plans more uses of Northwest public lands". The Seattle Times. 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  7. ^ "FREE ebook: Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  8. ^ "Special Investigation: Fracking in the Ocean Off the California Coast". Truthout. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. ^ "Fracking Report on Santa Barbara Channel". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  10. ^ "Following Truthout Investigation, Settlements Halt Fracking Off the Coast of California". Truthout. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  11. ^ "EPA: California Offshore Frackers Must Disclose Chemicals Dumped Into Ocean". Truthout. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  12. ^ "Blowout: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster". May 16, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  13. ^ "Report: Bush DoJ sheltered BP executives from criminal probe". May 21, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  14. ^ "BP Alaska: A Ticking Time Bomb?". June 23, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  15. ^ "The Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines (Part 2): Integrity Management". Archived from the original on August 3, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  16. ^ "The Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines (Part 2): Integrity Management. - Page 6, footnote 17" (PDF). July 14, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 4, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  17. ^ "Veterans Attest to PTSD Neglect by VA". January 30, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  18. ^ "PTSD Ignored on Active Duty". Veterans for Common Sense. July 16, 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  19. ^ "Izzy Award to be Shared by Investigative Journalists Lee Fang, Sharon Lerner, Dahr Jamail and Todd Miller". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  20. ^ Jamail, Dahr. "Climate Disruption Dispatches, With Dahr Jamail". Truthout. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  21. ^ "America's Toxic Prisons | Earth Island Journal | Earth Island Institute".
  22. ^ "2018 Official List of Winners – Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards – San Francisco Press Club".
  23. ^ "Previous Winners". Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  24. ^ Porter, Gareth. "How McChrystal and Petraeus Built an Indiscriminate "Killing Machine"". Truthout. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  25. ^ Porter, Gareth. "The Lies That Sold Obama's Escalation in Afghanistan". Truthout. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  26. ^ "Awards". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  27. ^ Schenwar, Maya. "The Prison System Welcomes My Newborn Niece to This World". Truthout. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  28. ^ Schenwar, Maya. "Life on Penalty of Death". Truthout. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  29. ^ Schenwar, Maya. "Please Stop "Reforming" Pelican Bay". Truthout. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  30. ^ Romenesko, Jim (31 March 2011). "Truthout says hackers deleted stories from past 10 days". Poynter.
  31. ^ Grove, Lloyd (25 January 2017). "These Reporters Were Jailed After Covering a Trump-Related Riot". The Daily Beast.
  32. ^ Swaine, Jon (24 January 2017). "Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest". the Guardian.
  33. ^ Brown, Ruth (2 February 2017). "Brooklyn journalists face felony rioting charges for inauguration protest coverage • Brooklyn Paper". Brooklyn Paper.
  34. ^ Visser, Nick (7 June 2017). "Journalist Arrested During D.C. Protest Faces 75 Years In Prison". HuffPost.
  35. ^ "SFR Journalist's Charges Dropped". Santa Fe Reporter.
  36. ^ "Rove Indictment Report Denied". New York Sun. May 15, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  37. ^ a b "Jason Leopold Caught Sourceless again". Columbia Journalism Review. June 13, 2006. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  38. ^ "Truthout reporter stands by the "Rove indicted"". June 13, 2006. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  39. ^ Rove, Karl (2010). "Courage and Consequence". Threshold Editions. p. 438. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  40. ^ "Jason Leopold".
  41. ^ Letterle, Bruce. "About Us". Retrieved 2018-04-05.

External links