Education

Learn more about the Fresno Bee’s Education Lab

Education Lab

Building a team of journalists to bring attention to the education issues critical to the advancement of our community

The Education Lab is an ambitious editorial initiative that shines a spotlight on education issues critical to the advancement of San Joaquin Valley residents, with a specific focus on Fresno.

We believe that improving educational attainment, and ultimately increasing the number of college graduates and skilled workers in the area, is key to economic mobility and a stronger community. Locally-based journalists with a single focus on education can help document progress, bring accountability where needed and amplify successes.

Our goals are to increase civic discourse on educational attainment across the valley and ultimately to improve education outcomes. To fulfill the lab’s goals, a small team of journalists is dedicated exclusively to covering education and engaging with the community.

The Team

Four new journalists are at the heart of the Education Lab and its mission of independent, solutions-oriented journalism. Two reporters will cover early education, K-12, and higher education, including community colleges. A third reporter will focus on engagement and building a large and diverse audience. A dedicated editor will lead the team and share our work with other media in the valley.

Support the Lab

Support the Education Lab by donating to the Impact Media Fund at the Central Valley Community Foundation.

The Foundation established the Media Fund in the spring of 2019 to identify problems, curate and interpret data, educate and engage citizens, amplify local voices, break down barriers, develop viable solutions, socialize ideas, measure and track progress, improve accountability, and drive transformation.

The Media Fund exists to manage and fund projects and programs that drive transformation and improve our community through research, community engagement and education, solutions-based and investigative journalism, and storytelling throughout California’s six-county Central San Joaquin Valley. Funding for the Media Fund comes from a variety of public, private, and/or philanthropic sources.

Donate now

Founding Contributors

Central Valley Community Foundation

Central Valley Foundation

The California Endowment

State Center Community College District, Dr. Paul Parnell

Murray and Francine Farber

Paul Gibson and Joan Eaton

Pete Weber

Education Lab Newsletter

Our weekly Education in the Valley newsletter includes reporting from the Education Lab team and other organizations across the state.

Sign up now

Share a story idea

Have an idea?
Contact editor Joe Kieta at jkieta@fresnobee.com,
or to submit anonymously, go to fresnobee.com/tips.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Do the foundations have any control over what is reported?

Editorial independence has been a core value at The Fresno Bee for almost 100 years. We strive to deliver high-impact journalism in the public interest. While we value the support of our funding partners, outside funders have no editorial oversight, approval or influence over the content produced by lab reporters or other members of the Fresno Bee newsroom.

Q: What other news organizations have received foundation funding?

The Seattle Times launched an Education Lab years ago that is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and City University of Seattle. The Miami Herald received support from the Rockefeller Foundation to cover Puerto Rico’s recovery from Maria. The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and public media such as NPR and PBS have all accepted foundation funding.

Q: Will this effort replace The Fresno Bee’s regular reporting on key issues in our community?

No, these are new positions. We will continue to cover important school board meetings and breaking news in education and other areas.

Statement of editorial independence

Editorial independence has been a core value at the Fresno Bee for nearly 100 years. We strive to deliver high-impact journalism in the public interest. While we value the support and partnership of our funding partners, outside funders will not have any editorial oversight, approval or influence over the content produced by the fellow or other members of the Fresno Bee newsroom.

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