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Reveal News - Annual Report 2018


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CONTENTS

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ABOUT REVEAL HOW TO LEAK TO US

OUR SUPPORT

ANATOMY OF A FAKE NEWS SCANDAL FINANCIAL AID IS GOING TO THE RICH

ANTIFA UNMASKED

RECENT AWARDS STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION

CHANGES IN NET ASSETS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS


ABOUT REVEAL

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OUR HISTORY Founded in 1977, CIR is nationally respected for setting the highest journalistic standards, and for our signature approach to investigative reporting and collaboration. CIR partners with numerous other media organizations, prioritizes impact over exclusivity, engages with the public and tracks results. To reach a broad and diverse audience worldwide, we publish our stories online, as well as for print, television, radio/audio, video and live events. Our work has been recognized for its excellence, groundbreaking creativity and impact. Recent awards include: a National Emmy Award for New Approaches to Current News Coverage, a George Foster Peabody Award, a Military Reporters and Editors Award, a Barlett & Steele Gold Award for Investigative Business Journalism, two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, a George Polk Award for Exemplary Achievement in Journalism, two IRE Awards for Multiplatform Journalism and an Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. We were a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and 2013 and a recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

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SPARK ACTION PROTECT DEMO


OUR MISSION The Center for Investigative Reporting engages and empowers the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling in order to spark action, improve lives and protect our democracy.

N OCRACY O


HOW TO

LEAK TO US

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Whistleblowers have been an integral part of our organization’s 40-year history of exposing wrongdoing. While we don’t base our stories solely on anonymous information, a tip or document can be the key that opens the door to more reporting. From the former Uber engineer who told us how employees at the company used the ride-hailing app’s data to spy on former romantic partners to a package of documents sent anonymously to our office that led to a groundbreaking investigation into how Jehovah’s Witnesses officials covered up widespread sexual abuse, whistleblowers have been indispensable to our work as investigative journalists. None of the communication tools we suggest are entirely foolproof. Each has its own set of advantages and risks. If you’re unsure about the best method for leaking information, contact us using the encrypted messaging app Signal, which is explained in more detail below. In this initial conversation, give a broad outline of your situation and we can provide guidance regarding the best way to move forward. By email The simplest way is to send as an email at tips@revealnews.org. We monitor this account on a regular basis and will get in touch with you if we are interested in pursuing your tip. Standard email can be traced and hacked, however, and it can be discoverable in lawsuits. For information about more secure email options, see “By encrypted email” below. By phone Our staff phone numbers are listed on this page and, if you click through on each name, you can see what that person is covering. For more secure smartphone communication with us, the encrypted messaging app Signal currently is the best bet. To increase your personal security on Signal, purchase a cheap “burner” smartphone with a prepaid plan and pay for it with cash, so it’s not in any way connected to your identity. To get in touch with us using Signal, send us a message at 510-207-5229. By mail It’s old school, but mailing documents can be a largely undetectable way of getting information to us. The key is not writing your name or any return address on the packaging. In addition, don’t mail the documents from your home, place of business or a location near those locations. Sidewalk post boxes are preferable to post offices, which often have video cameras. Our mailing address The Center for Investigative Reporting 1400 65th St., Suite 200 Emeryville, CA 94608 To reach a specific reporter or editor, put “Attn: PERSON’S NAME” somewhere on the outside of the packaging.

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OUR

SUPPORT

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The Center for Investigative Reporting receives generous support from foundations, institutions, individuals and families committed to the power of investigative journalism. The following list includes some of our larger institutional supporters: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund Democracy Fund Emerson Collective Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Ford Foundation FThree Foundation Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Google News Lab Gruber Family Foundation Heising-Simons Foundation Hellman Foundation Horace Goldsmith Foundation John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation John S. and James L. Knight Foundation News Integrity Initiative Open Society Foundations The Base Family Foundation The California Endowment The Reva and David Logan Foundation The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation The San Simeon Fund W.K. Kellogg Foundation Wyncote Foundation

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O T ANATOMY OF A FAKE NEWS SCANDAL

Amanda Robb // 11.16.18

FAKE NEWS, REAL CONSEQUENCES The revelations overcame The revelations overcame EdEdgar Maddison Welch gar Maddison Welch like a hallike a hallucinatory fever. lucinatory fever. On December On December 1st, 2016, 1st, 2016, the father of from two the father of two from Salisbury, North Carolina, Salisbury, North Carolina, a mana whose pastimes includman whose pastimes ined playing Pictionary with his cluded playing Pictionary family,with triedhistofamily, persuade triedtwo to friendspersuade to join a rescue mission. two friends to Alex Jones, the Info-Wars host, was reporting that Hillary Clinton was sexually abusing children in satanic rituals a few hundred miles north, in the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant. Welch told his friends the “raid” on a “pedo ring” might require them to “sacrifice the lives of a few for the lives of many.” A friend texted, “Sounds like

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we r freeing some oppressed pizza from the hands of an evil pizza joint.” Welch was undeterred. Three days later, armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a .38 handgun and a folding knife, he strolled into the restaurant and headed toward the back, where children were playing ping-pong. As waitstaff went table to table, whispering to customers to get out, Welch maneuvered into the restaurant’s kitchen. He shot open a lock and found cooking supplies. He whipped open another door and found an employee bringing in fresh pizza dough. Welch did not find any captive children – Comet Ping Pong does not even have a basement – but he did prove, if there were any lingering doubts after the election, that fake news has real consequences.


ed as absolute facts. What’s different about Pizzagate, says Samuel Woolley, a leading expert in computational propaganda, is it was “retweeted and picked up by some of the most powerful faces of American politics.”

Yup, Hillary has a well documented predilection for underage girls. . . . We’re talking an international child enslavement and sex ring.

The original Pizzagate Facebook post appeared on the evening of October 29th, 2016, a day after then-FBI Director James Comey announced that the bureau would be reopening its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state. Data from the server had been found on electronics belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (the husband of Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin), who had been caught texting lewd messages to a 15-year-old. On Facebook, a user named Carmen Katz wrote, “My NYPD source said its much more vile and serious than classified material on Weiner’s device. The email DETAIL the trips made by Weiner, Bill and Hillary on their pedophile billionaire friend’s plane, the Lolita Express. Yup, Hillary has a well documented predilection for underage girls. . . . We’re talking an international child enslavement and sex ring.” Katz’s Facebook profile listed her residence as Joplin, Missouri. With a link to a story head-

lined “Breaking: Hillary Clinton strategy memo leaked: ‘Steal yard signs,’ ” Katz posted, “You know how we handle yard sign theft or tampering in South Missouri? With a 3 prong garden hoe buried in the middle of the back.” We found no record of anyone with the name Carmen Katz in the entire state. But searching through her online activity, we noticed another clue: Every time she posted petitions on Change.org, such as “Put Donald Trump’s Face on Mount Rushmore,” the last signer was invariably Cynthia Campbell of Joplin. Campbell used the same profile picture as “Carmen Katz” on Facebook – that is, the same snapshot of the same cat. For more than 20 years, a 60-year-old attorney named Cynthia Campbell has practiced law out of her bungalow-style home in Joplin. In April, I began trying to contact her, asking if she was behind the initial Pizzagate post. Within days, the Carmen Katz Facebook account disappeared. I went to Campbell’s house to try in person. A large NRA sticker adorned the screen door; on the porch was feline statuary and gardening equipment, including a three-pronged hoe. She didn’t answer but later texted and called me. Campbell said yes, she set up the Facebook account, but it was

THE CURIOUS CASE OF CARMEN KATZ Welch’s arrest was the culmination of an election cycle dominated by fake news – and by attacks on the legitimate press. Several media outlets quickly traced the contours of what became known as Pizzagate: The claim that Hillary Clinton was a pedophile started in a Facebook post, spread to Twitter and then went viral with the help of far-right platforms like Breitbart and Info-Wars. But it was unclear whether Pizzagate was mass hysteria or the work of politicos with real resources and agendas. It took the better part of a year (and two teams of researchers) to sift through the digital trail. We found ordinary people, online activists, bots, foreign agents and domestic political operatives. Many of them were associates of the Trump campaign. Others had ties with Russia. Working together – though often unwittingly – they flourished in a new “post-truth” information ecosystem, a space where false claims are defend-

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INGREDIENTS FOR A NEWS SCANDAL

hacked two or three years ago. She never explicitly denied posting the comment that started Pizzagate. Instead, she told me to disregard the NRA sticker – she just “supports hunting.” She also claimed to be a rare Democrat in southwest Missouri. “You don’t say much,” she said. “You don’t stick signs out.” Social-media accounts are routinelyhacked, but the next morning, when Campbell texted me 21 times, she sounded every bit like the user behind the original Carmen Katz post. “Stalking and harassing innocent people who have done nothing to you is wrong, evil and illegal,” she wrote. “You should be helping people get their lives and health back going through such nightmares, not piling on, harassing them, making them feel unsafe and preyed upon.” Campbell threatened to report me to both the ACLU and Best Buy’s Geek Squad. “(P)eople like you don’t give a shit that you destroy innocent humans’ lives,” she said. “Go back to your soulsuck-ing job. . . . You are fake news!”‘

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It strains the imagination to think how Campbell – a cat lady in Missouri – had pieced together not only the story that Clinton was a sex-trafficking pedophile, but its details: NYPD officials, Weiner’s laptop, Jeffrey Ep-stein’s private jet. According to Clint Watts, a cyber and homelandsecurity expert at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Katz fits neatly into a well-worn blueprint for disinformation campaigns. For a story to gain traction, propagandists plant false information on anonymous chat boards, hoping real people will pick it up and add a “human touch” to acts of digital manipulation. “If you want to sow a conspiracy, you seed it someplace – 4chan or Reddit is a perfect vehicle,” he says, and wait for someone like Katz to take the bait. “Someone or some group,” Watts says, “possibly took this unwitting woman and made her the source that they need.” On a pair of anonymous message boards, we found several possible seeds of Pizzagate. On July 2nd, 2016,


someone calling himself FBIAnon, who claimed to be a “high-level analyst and strategist” for the bureau, hosted an Ask Me Anything forum on 4chan. He claimed to be leaking government secrets – á la Edward Snowden – out of a love for country, but it wasn’t always clear which country he meant. At various times, he wrote, “Russia is more a paragon of freedom and nationalism than any other country” and “We are the aggressors against Russia.” FBIAnon’s secrets were about the Department of Justice’s inquiry into the Clinton Foundation, which federal prosecutors never formalized. “Dig deep,” he wrote. “Bill and Hillary love foreign donors so much. They get paid in children as well as money.” “Does Hillary have sex with kidnapped girls?” a 4channer asked. “Yes,” FBIAnon answered. Another possible germ of Pizzagate appeared online about 10 hours before Katz posted her story on Facebook. TheeRANT describes itself as a message board for “New York City cops speaking their minds.” Virtually everyone on the site uses an identity-masking screen name. Favorite topics include police body cameras (bad) and George Soros (worse). On October 29th, 2016, someone calling himself “Fatoldman” posted that he had a “hot rumor” about the FBI investigation. “(T)he feds were forced to reopen the

hillary email case (because) apparently the NYPD sex crimes unit was involved in the weiner case,” Fatoldman wrote. “On his laptop they saw emails. (T)hey notified the FBI. Feds were afraid that NYPD would go public so they had to reopen or be accused of a coverup.” Someone posted the news to a law enforcement Facebook group. From there, a user called Eagle Wings (@ NIVIsa4031) posted it to Twitter. Eagle Wings’ profile picture shows a smiling middle-aged woman above the description “USAF Vet believes Freedom Soars.” Among her more influential followers are former deputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, who actually shared a separate Eagle- Wings tweet last year. Eagle Wings’ enthusiastic following likely has something to do with membership in “Trumps WarRoom,” a private group of online activists who share and amplify political messages. Participants told Politico’s Shawn Musgrave that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of pro-Trump rooms coalesced during the campaign. “The members aren’t stereotypical trolls,” Musgrave tells me. “Most are baby boomers.” A lot are women from the Midwest.

“Does Hillary have sex kidnapped girls? a 4 channer asked.

“Yes”, FBIAnon answered.”

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“Eagle Wings is

automated (and) part of

a highly

account

bot network” – a centrally controlled group of social-media accounts.” a

ANATOMY OF FAKE NEWS SCANDAL ::j14


A NETWORK OF BOTS To explain how they work, Ben Nimmo, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, uses a shepherding analogy. A message that someone or some organization wants to ‘trend’ is typically sent out by ‘shepherd’ accounts,” he says, which often have large followings and are controlled by humans. The shepherds’ messages are amplified by ‘sheepdog’ accounts, which are also run by humans but can be default-set “to boost the signal and harass critics.” At times, the shepherds personally steer conversations, but they also deploy automation, using a kind of Twitter cruise control to retweet particular keywords and hashtags. Together, Nimmo says, the shepherds and sheepdogs guide a herd of bots, which “mindlessly repost content in the digital equivalent of sheep rushing in the same direction and bleating loudly.” Whether Katz repeated something a herd of bots was bleating, or repackaged tidbits found on other parts of the Internet, her Facebook post was

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the “human touch” that helped the fake news story go viral. The “tell,” says Watts, was what happened next. Most of us post into Internet oblivion. But about 12 hours after Katz shared her story, a Twitter user named @ DavidGoldbergNY tweeted a screenshot of her post, twice – adding, “I have been hearing the same thing from my NYPD buddies too. Next couple days will be -interesting!” On Twitter, @DavidGoldbergNY described himself as a “Jew, Lawyer & New Yorker.” The account went live around the time of the Republican National Convention, in July 2016, posting divisive tweets like “Attacking the 1 percent is attacking 43 percent of the Jewish community.” The account’s profile picture – a man with a nose Photoshopped to look very large and hooked – has been used online for more than a decade. Based on the limited threads


that have been archived, Woolley says, @DavidGoldbergNY appears to have been, like Eagle Wings, “highly automated” and part of “an organized effort” – possibly a bot network – to spread disinformation. One of @DavidGoldbergNY’s tweets about the Katz Facebook post was retweeted 6,369 times. What’s nearly impossible to tell is who ran @DavidGoldbergNY. The handle is not among the 2,752 Twitter accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, a disinformation shop run by the Kremlin, which the House Intelligence Committee released in November. And Twitter has yet to make public the handles of an additional 36,746 bot accounts its attorney Sean Edgett told Congress have “characteristics we used to associate an account with Russia.” In any case, Russia is not the only one playing this game. “We’ve also had sources tell us that using bot networks has become a common practice among U.S. political campaigns,” says Woolley, a practice that is difficult to trace. “They do it with subcontractors,” he explains. “And the Federal Election Commission doesn’t require reporting for subcontractors.” One thing that does stand out, he adds, is “the more sophisticated bot nets, the ones that are successful at spreading stories, are built by people with a lot of resources. In our experience, across multiple different countries, the people that have deep pockets are the powerful political actors.” The Twittersphere went wild. The previous day, our sample indicates there were roughly 6,000 tweets about Pizzagate. Now, it was closer to 55,000. Alefantis tried and failed to get Facebook and Twitter to remove the posts. (Both companies declined to comment for this story.) When the restaurant started get-

ting death threats, Alefantis called the police, then the FBI, and got nowhere. “It turns out you can say anything about anyone online,” he says. “It’s your First Amendment right to terrorize.” Alefantis thought he’d finally scored a victory when The New York Times published an article debunking Pizzagate. He learned what the Clinton campaign found out too late. As Harvard’s Benkler puts it, “The right-wing-media ecosystem had become so hyperpartisan, so self-referential and so superinsular it often simply ignored information that’s disconfirming.” Instead, right-wing social media referenced mainstream coverage as a way to “legitimate” their claims. On November 21st, the day the Times published its story, our sample shows Twitter traffic about Pizzagate hit unprecedented levels: some 120,000 tweets. Trolls on message boards began posting whole “dossiers” of private information about Comet Ping Pong employees and top Democrats, down to the movies that Podesta ordered on Netflix. On November 22nd, when Reddit banned a Pizzagate subreddit for posting obviously stolen private information, a moderator responded, “We have all made life insurance videos. We have all vowed

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to continue this fight. You have only increased our number. This morning we were numerous, tonight we are legion.” About 145,000 tweets flew that day. The next day, InfoWars posted a video called “Pizzagate Is Real.” On November 27th, Jones spent a half-hour explaining the story. “Something’s being covered up,” he told his audience. “All I know is, God help us, we’re in the hands of pure evil.” Hours later, he released another video, “Down the #Pizzagate Rabbit Hole.” On December 1st, the show posted “Pizzagate: The Bigger Picture.” In North Carolina, Edgar Maddison Welch was obsessively watching much of this coverage. By the evening of December 4th, he was in solitary confinement in a Washington, D.C., jail. Nearly a year after the election, in three separate hearings with members of Congress, executives from Twitter, Facebook and Google took turns expressing contrition for hosting Russia’s attempts to manipulate U.S. public opinion. A Facebook vice president said it “pains us as a company” that foreign actors “abused our platform.” Twitter’s general counsel said he too was “troubled” that the power of Twitter was misused. “There was this concept of ‘Social media is going to save democracy,’ ” Woolley tells me. “Twitter didn’t envision that powerful political actors were going to use social media in attempts to spread propaganda.” Among the many strange aspects of Pizzagate was the fact that the story went viral after the election. All of the Russia-linked tweets we found were sent after November 8th. Bot networks appear to be tweeting out the hashtag to this day. Woolley suggests it could be an attempt to “bolster” Trump’s position, to “win over people’s hearts and minds.” Clinton had lost the presidency, he says, but “she was not done in terms of her ability to be a representative of democratic ideals, or of the ideals that

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were oppositional to Donald Trump.” Watts, the cyber-security expert, doesn’t know if Russia and the Trump campaign colluded on Pizzagate, or anything else. But both camps were clearly opportunistic. “You can’t say that there was no indigenous support,” he says. “The Russians don’t create this whole (alt-right) movement. They just harness it.” Of course, so did Trump. But Watts believes the Russians, at least, are playing for much higher stakes than one presidential election. “The goal is to create division between communities,” he says. “It is making you not trust the state. It’s eroding the mandate of elected officials so that they can’t govern properly. It’s making people want to not participate in democracy because they think it’s corrupt. It’s getting you to either believe that it’s all stacked against you or you just opt out altogether because you don’t know what to believe. When you don’t know what to believe, you’ll believe anything.”

When you don’t know what to believe, you’ll believe anything


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COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID IS GOING TO THE RICH John Marcus // 12.17.18

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Maya Portillo is shown outside the New York lab where she studies how children from different socioeconomic backgrounds develop language skills. In a system that benefits her wealthier classmates to a surprising degree, Portillo was one of a small number of low-income students who managed to enroll at and graduate from Cornell University.

ITHACA, N.Y. – Maya Portillo started life solidly in the middle class. Both her parents were college graduates, they sent her to a Montessori school, they took family vacations and they owned a house in Tucson, Arizona, filled with the books she loved to read. Then, when she was 10, Portillo’s father left, the house was foreclosed on and the recession hit. Her mother was laid off, fell into debt and took Portillo and her two sisters to live a hand-to-mouth existence with their grandparents in Indiana. “It could have happened to anyone,” said Portillo, who took two jobs after school to pitch in while trying to maintain her grades. “I can’t even begin to describe how hard it was.” She choked up. “It’s really hard to talk about, but when you have to help put food on the table when you’re in high school, it does something to you.” Portillo recounted this story in a quiet conference room on the pristine hilltop campus of Cornell University, from which she was about to graduate with a major in industrial labor relations and minors in education and equality studies. Her long path from comfort to poverty and an against-the-odds Ivy League degree gave her firsthand exposure to how even the smartest low-income students often succeed despite, rather than because of, programs widely assumed to help them go to college. This is happening as tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded and privately provided financial aid, along with money universities and colleges dole out directly, flows to their higher-income classmates.

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“I know people don’t often think that there’s a bottom line, but there is. And so do we help more people with less money, or do we help less people with more money?” – Lisa Hoskey, student financial services director, Ithaca College “There is a very seriously warped view among many Americans, and particularly more affluent Americans, about where the money is actually going,” said Richard Reeves, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution and author of “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust.” “They say, look, there’s always other support going to poorer kids,” Reeves said. “Well, there isn’t. There actually isn’t. But the ignorance about where the money is actually going and who benefits from it, that ignorance is really an obstacle to reform around what is, in fact, a reverse distribution.” It’s a little-known reality that reflects – and, because higher education is a principal route to the middle class, widens – the American income divide. And at the same time that the fight over issues including health care and changes in tax law has reignited the national debate over income inequality, financial aid disparities are getting worse, driven by politics, the pursuit of prestige and policies that have been shifting resources away from students with financial need. The result? “We’re not helping the right people go to college as much as we should,” said Ron Ehrenberg, a Cornell economist and director of the university’s Higher Education Research Institute.

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THERE IS

A VERY SERIOUSLY

WARPED VIEW ABOUT WHERE THE

MONEY

IS ACTUALLY GOING

FINANCIAL AID INEQUALITY ::j 22


Children of the 1% are 77 times more likely to go to an Ivy League School

15%

HIGH INCOME STUDENTS

LOW INCOME STUDENTS

CORNELL UNIVERSITY

15% HIGH INCOME STUDENTS

LOW INCOME STUDENTS

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

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TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS ACCEPTED AT UNIVERSITY


TOP unlike to those in the bottom 20%

1%

BOTTOM

20%

At least 86,000 more low-income students per year are qualified to attend the most selective universities and colleges than enroll, according to a study by the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce. On standardized admissions tests, these students score as well as or better than those who do get that privilege.

It’s not because selective institutions can’t afford to help low-income students, the Georgetown study said. The 69 most prestigious universities boast endowments averaging $1.2 billion and posted typical annual budget surpluses of $139 million from 2012 to 2015, the most recent year for which the figures are available. Cornell has a $6.8 billion endowment and took in $390 million a year more than it spent during that time, the study said. Yet federal data show that 15 percent of its students are low-income, based on whether they qualify for a federal Pell Grant. Nationally, 33 percent of all students are low-income by this measure, the College Board reports. Children of parents in the top 1 percent of earnings are 77 times more likely to go to an Ivy League college than those whose parents are in the bottom 20 percent, a National Bureau of Education Research study found. “Polishing the privileged,” one policymaker calls this. But it’s not just Ivy League or even private institutions where the percentages of less well-off students are low. Some taxpayer-supported public universities enroll very small proportions of them. At the University of Virginia, for example, 12 percent of students come from families with incomes low enough to qualify for Pell Grants, federal data show. Financial aid programs “do not get at basic public policy issues, which is that if you’re a bright kid coming from a relatively low-income family, your chances of enrolling in and eventually completing college are much, much lower than a less-talented student coming from a wealthy family.” – Ron Ehrenberg, director, Cornell Higher Education Research Institute

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It’s not because there aren’t plenty of low-income students who qualify, research by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found. At Pennsylvania State University’s main campus, for example, 15 percent of students are low-income, but the study showed that twice that proportion would meet admissions requirements, meaning Penn State could graduate 900 more lower-income students per year. If such a change were made by all the universities and colleges that now take fewer lower-income students than they could, the report concluded, 57,500 more low-income students per year would be earning degrees. “When you look at the way that higher education is financed, subsidized and organized in the United States, your heart sinks just a bit further,” Reeves said. “It takes the inequalities given to it and makes them worse.” Even low-income students with the highest scores on 10th-grade standardized tests are more than three times less likely to go to top colleges than higher-income students, according to the Education Trust. More than a fifth of those high-achieving low-income students never go to college, while nearly all of their wealthier counterparts do. In some cases, that’s because low-income prospects are discouraged by the cost. It’s a legitimate worry. Even though – as institutions argue – low-income students may be eligible for financial aid they’re not aware of, that money seldom covers the full price of their educations or enough of it that they could afford the rest. Portillo, for example, got comparatively generous help but still had to pay $3,500 a year she didn’t have, plus other expenses, such as mandatory health insurance. “For someone like me, $3,500 is everything,” she said. “It’s a lot of money.” So she borrowed $21,000 over the course of her education, which she’ll have to repay out of her salary working at a New York City charter school for low-income students.

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“Oof,” she said, thinking about the day her loans come due. “I’m not coming out of here debt-free, as they kind of market themselves.” Students who don’t need the money, meanwhile, keep getting more of it. At private universities, students from families with annual earnings of $155,000-plus receive an average of $5,800 more per year in financial aid than a federal formula says they need to pay tuition; at public universities, they get $1,810 more than they need, according to the College Board. College is expensive even for the wealthiest of families, of course, and even more so if they have children close to each other in age or live in places with high costs of living, Ehrenberg said. But those are families whose kids would “absolutely” go to college without such help, he said. This system has evolved because, with enrollment in decline, colleges and universities are vying for a shrinking supply of students – especially for students whose parents can pay at least some of the tuition, whom they lure by offering discounts and financial aid. Cornell sophomore Aleks Stajkovic benefited from that strategy. He got financial aid he said he didn’t really need. “I know I’m on a bunch of scholarships and stuff,” he said, studying in the atrium of a grand century-old building on the university’s stately arts quadrangle. “It’s just like a supplement.” He would have been able to afford Cornell without it, Stajkovic said. “For sure. I definitely would have. And that’s the sad thing – there’s kids that need that.”

All of this means that, in spite of promises from policymakers, politicians and colleges themselves to help the least-wealthy students, the net price of a higher education after discounts and financial aid is rising much faster for them than for the wealthiest ones. While higher-income students still pay more overall, federal data show, since 2012, the net price for the poorest students at Cornell has increased four and a half times faster than for the richest. Cornell wouldn’t talk about these issues. A spokeswoman said no one at the university was available to discuss them at any time over a three-week period. A mile away at smaller Ithaca College, however – which has one-twentieth as big of an endowment as Cornell but enrolls a larger proportion of low-income

FINANCIAL AID INEQUALITY ::j 26


Students who don’t need the money, meanwhile, keep getting more of it. At private universities, students from families with annual earnings of $155,000-plus receive an average of $5,800 more per year in financial aid than a federal formula says they need to pay tuition; at public universities, they get $1,810 more than they need, according to the College Board. College is expensive even for the wealthiest of families, of course, and even more so if they have children close to each other in age or live in places with high costs of living, Ehrenberg said. But those are families whose kids would “absolutely” go to college without such help, he said. This system has evolved because, with enrollment in decline, colleges and universities are vying for a shrinking supply of students – especially for students whose parents can pay at least some of the tuition, whom they lure by offering discounts and financial aid.

Wealthy students get $1,810 more than they need, according to the College Board.

Cornell sophomore Aleks Stajkovic benefited from that strategy. He got financial aid he said he didn’t really need. “I know I’m on a bunch of scholarships and stuff,” he said, studying in the atrium of a grand century-old building on the university’s stately arts quadrangle. “It’s just like a supplement.” He would have been able to afford Cornell without it, Stajkovic said. “For sure. I definitely would have. And that’s the sad thing – there’s kids that need that.”

All of this means that, in spite of promises from policymakers, politicians and colleges themselves to help the least-wealthy students, the net price of a higher education after discounts and financial aid is rising much faster for them than for the wealthiest ones. While higher-income students still pay more overall, federal data show, since 2012, the net price for the poorest students at Cornell has increased four and a half times faster than for the richest. Cornell wouldn’t talk about these issues. A spokeswoman said no one at the university was available to discuss them at any time over a three-week period. A mile away at smaller Ithaca College, however – which has one-twentieth as big of an endowment as Cornell but enrolls a larger proportion of low-income A mile away at smaller Ithaca College, however – which has one-twentieth as big of an endowment as Cornell but enrolls a larger proportion of low-income undergraduates – Student Financial Services Director Lisa Hoskey said all higher education institutions have to deal with the complicated calculus of attracting enough families that can pay to keep their campuses going. “That balance is always tricky,” said Hoskey, the daughter of a factory worker who depended on financial aid herself to go to college. “I know people don’t often think that there’s a bottom line, but there is. And so do we help more people with less money or do we help less people with more money?” She said: “If I had my way, if we could meet need, I would absolutely love to do that. We can’t.” Wealthier families now have come to expect financial aid, and they negotiate for more – something lower-income ones without college-going experience may not know they can do – said Hoskey, on whose office wall hang thank-you notes from students she’s helped. “Most people will tell you that financial aid is a privilege for those who earn it – until it becomes their own child, and then it’s a right,” she said. Parents who understand the mystifying process “try to maximize the benefits that they can receive. And I think some people are more knowledgeable about how to do that.”

27 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


Portillo gets that. “It’s like a business, right?” she said. “I understand where the university is coming from. At the same time, it’s difficult, as somebody who is low-income,” to pay for college without more help. Colleges’ shifting of some of their financial aid to higher-income students who could kick in toward salaries, facilities and other things means taxpayer-supported government policies are largely left to support low-income ones. But those policies, too, disproportionately help the wealthy, often through hard-to-see tax subsidies. “These programs do not get at basic public policy issues, which is that if you’re a bright kid coming from a relatively low-income family, your chances of enrolling in and eventually completing college are much, much lower than a less-talented student coming from a wealthy family,” Ehrenberg said. It starts with savings. People who set up college savings accounts, called 529 plans, get $2 billion a year worth of federal tax deductions – projected by the Treasury Department to double to $4 billion a year by 2026. Yet the department says almost all of these benefits go to upper-income families that would send their kids to college even without them. Only 1 in 5 families earning under $35,000 a year even knows about 529 plans, a survey by the investment firm Edward Jones found. States forgo at least an additional $265 million in their own tax breaks for holders of 529 plans, according to the Brookings Institution. Once they pay for college, Americans are eligible for federal tuition tax breaks. But those breaks also disproportionately benefit higher-income students and have grown to exceed the amount spent annually on Pell Grants for lower-income ones.

The tax deductions cost the federal government $35 billion a year in forgone revenue, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. That’s 13 times more than in 1990, even when adjusted for inflation. Related: In one country, anger over soaring college costs has led to violent protest More than a fifth of the money provided under the principal deduction, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, goes to families earning between $100,000 and $180,000 per year, the Congressional Research Service found. It also found that 93 percent of recipients would have gone to college without it. Other funding for students is also unequally applied. Portillo earned some cash toward her expenses by getting a work-study job on campus, part of a nearly $1 billion federal financial aid program that pays students for jobs such as shelving library books and busing tables. But because of a more than 50-year-old formula under which work-study money is distributed, it skews to more prestigious private universities with higher-income students. These schools enroll 14 percent of undergraduates but get 38 percent of work-study money, while community colleges – which take almost half of all students, many of them low-income – get 20 percent, according to the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. A student at a private university from a family in the top quarter of income is more likely to get work-study money than a student at a community college from the bottom quarter. “Lots of higher education policies are built in a way that would win support from middle- and even upper-income taxpayers, and they were not really thought about as, ‘Will this really increase the number

FINANCIAL AID INEQUALITY ::j 28


of people going to college?’ ” Ehrenberg said. “If I were a social planner, we would be using our resources to help support the people who would not be able to go to college.” The Trump administration has proposed cutting work-study spending nearly in half. Employer tuition assistance and private scholarships from Rotary clubs and chambers of commerce, too, benefit wealthier people more than poorer ones, who often don’t know about the aid or whose schools don’t have enough college counselors to help them get it. There is more than $17 billion available annually from such sources, the College Board reports; more than 10 percent goes to families earning $106,000 and up, and about 60 percent goes to those with incomes above $65,000, the U.S. Department of Education calculates. “They say, look, there’s always other support going to poorer kids. Well, there isn’t. There actually isn’t. But the ignorance about where the money is actually going and who benefits from it, that ignorance is really an obstacle to reform around what is, in fact, a reverse distribution.” – Richard Reeves, senior fellow in economic studies, Brookings Institution States also provide more than $10 billion in financial aid to students, according to the College Board. But as they try to keep top students from moving away, the proportion of that money being given out based on measures other than need has risen from zero, in the early 1980s, to nearly a quarter of state financial aid today. Experts say that even “free college” in states including New York – where it eventually will be extended for state schools to children of families with earnings of up to $125,000 – is likely to benefit wealthier students more than lower-income ones. That’s because it kicks in only after students already have exhausted all of their other financial aid. Students from higher-earning families who don’t qualify for things such as federal Pell Grants will end up getting bigger breaks than lower-income students who do. In Oregon, which has made community college free, students from families in the top 40 percent of income got 60 percent of the free-tuition money, the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission found. Oregon officials have since have changed the eligibility requirements, disqualifying the wealthiest families from the program.

THERE AREN’T

ENOUGH SPOTS FOR

PEOPLE AND THAT’S

29 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


Unsurprisingly, given these trends, the proportion of low-income people getting degrees is declining while the proportion of higher-income ones continues to go up. Students from higher-income families today are nearly nine times more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees by the time they’re 24 than students from lower-income ones, up from about seven times more likely in 1970, according to the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. Those low-income students who do make it into college are much more likely to enroll at for-profit universities, where graduation rates are the worst in higher education, or thinly stretched regional public ones. At community colleges, which spend less per student than many public primary and secondary schools and where the odds of graduating are also comparatively low, about 4 in 10 of the students are low-income, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. The policies perpetuating this aren’t likely to change in the current political climate, experts said. “The system is in danger of becoming trapped in a kind of horrible anti-egalitarian equilibrium,” Reeves said. “I see that getting worse instead of better. The only hope, I think, is if the institutions themselves and the leaders of those institutions – who I think at some level are committed to the ideals of more opportunity – can find a way to alter the equilibrium themselves.” As hard as it was for her to afford, Portillo hugely values her Cornell degree. “I feel so lucky, because I know 10 other kids just like me who struggled the same with low socioeconomic status and couldn’t get that spot because there aren’t enough spots for people like us,” she said quietly. “That’s not based on how hard they work. It’s based on how much money they have. And that is heartbreaking.”

LIKE US S HEARTBREAKING FINANCIAL AID INEQUALITY ::j 30


Follow reveal as it delves into the minds of the other side of the extremist coin: the militant leftist group Antifa.

ANTIFA UNMASKED Will Carless // 1.8.18 31 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


T

here was a time when it was hard to find anyone in California who readily embraced the term “antifa.” Leftist activists, even in the uber-liberal San Francisco Bay Area, hemmed and hawed about using the moniker. Branding themselves as antifa – shorthand for anti-fascist – seemed a little too hucksterish. It played into the hands of the enemy, the so-called “alt-right,” who had spent the previous few months trying to paint the antifa as a shadowy terrorist movement. But then in August, a man plowed into a crowd of left-wing protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring dozens of others. The next morning, Oakland activist John Cookenboo painted one word on the military-grade helmet he wears to protests: Antifa

A CULT OF VIOLENCE Around the Bay, more militant members of the burgeoning local antifa movement stepped things up. Spurred on by the Virginia attack, a core cell formed a Rapid Response Team named for the victim: the Heather Heyer Brigade. Its goal: to seek out anyone its members consider “Nazis” and confront them, with violence if necessary. “We’ll go to their house, I’ll put it that way,” one activist said. “We’ll go to their house.”

We’ll go to their house, I’ll put it that way, we’ll go to their house.”

The antifa, which began as a largely misunderstood, shadowy concept largely touted by rightwing news anchors, spent much of 2017 fusing into a movement known across the country. Perhaps nowhere in America has the metamorphosis of these blackclad protesters been more visible than in the Bay Area. A seminal moment came in late summer in opposition to a right-wing rally planned for Berkeley two weeks after Charlottesville – a little more than a half-mile and a half-century from the birthplace of the 1960s free speech movement. Hundreds of antifa marched toward the main protest in militant “black bloc” formation, waving flags bearing antifa logos. As they approached the column of more moderate protesters already headed toward Berkeley City Hall, they pounded on their shields, chanting: “Ah – anti! – Anti-fascista! Ah – anti! – Anti-fascista!” From small children to white-haired, tie-dye-wearing peaceniks, the crowd eagerly joined in: “Anti-fascista! Anti-fascista!” Long a breeding ground for militant activism – from the Black Panther Party

ANTIFA UNMASKED ::j 32


to branches of the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements – the Bay Area has seen its radical roots reinvigorated by a new brand of political action with an evocative history. The mainstream media is eager to label this a natural continuum, but the reality of the antifa is far more complex than any television soundbite. Months of interviewing self-proclaimed members of the antifa uncovered a loosely organized tribe of individuals whose philosophies and tactics run the gamut from literally singing “Kumbaya” at rallies to hunting down Nazis to break their bones – and who recently have been united in part by a modicum of mainstream acceptance. “I’m one of these people who for the last 50 years has wanted to see this sort of radical, progressive activity that we had in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and I think to some extent, we are seeing that now,” said Dan Siegel, a civil rights lawyer and activist who attended UC Berkeley from 1967 to 1970 and who says he “got to know some of the Panthers.” “I’m sure there are a lot of people that are happy about it.”

‘UNTIL THE DAY I DIE’ ‘Until the day I die’. Antifa members Vincent Yochelson (left) and John Cookenboo pack gear for a counterprotest against a right-wing gathering Aug. 26 in San Francisco. Credit: Paul Kuroda for Reveal John Cookenboo and his friends Moira Van de Walker and Vincent Yochelson are typical of many antifa activists in the Bay Area: They’re in their 20s, holding down largely casual part-time jobs. Cookenboo, 28, works in the marijuana industry when he’s not taking care of an elderly relative in rural Mendocino County. Yochelson, 23, has a number of jobs, from catering to gardening. Van de Walker, 22, helps at a local punk music collective. They represent a cross-section of the local antifa movement in other ways, too. They’re young, passionate and angry. But most of all, they’re fiercely protective of their community. Emphasis on the fierce. And while they’re not exactly organized, they are ready to fight. Just before noon April 15, the three friends skirted an orange police barricade in downtown Berkeley, searching for a way into the nucleus of a protest they had anticipated for weeks – one that would become infamous enough to earn its own name: the Battle of Berkeley. As the first spiky tickles of pepper spray crept through the black bandannas tied across their faces, the trio of 20-somethings realized with a jolt that what had begun as a right-wing “free speech” protest was exploding into a riot. The crowd of hundreds of right-wing demonstrators and left-wing counterprotesters had gone berserk. Bodies were hemorrhaging through the barricade into the surrounding streets.

I don’t appreciate the idea of people forcing their ideals on my community and the people I live around.

“People broke out of the barrier, and it all started going to shit over there. People were throwing fireworks, smoke bombs – shit like that. Pepsi cans,” Van de Walker recalled. “We all decided, this is getting a little hot here. We should go grab our stuff.” In the days leading up to the protest, they had raided supermarket dumpsters, fashioning DIY riot gear from the detritus of capitalism: lightweight shields made from scrap aluminum, high-density foam and duct tape. Construction and snowboard helmets spray-painted black. The gear was stashed in the trunk of Cookenboo’s car a few blocks away.

The three returned decked out like dystopian knights. But they never learned whether their homemade shields could withstand the blow of a baseball bat or the stab of a knife. They were arrested before they could join the fray and spent the next day and a half locked up on charges of committing a felony while wearing a mask and possessing a switchblade. They remain unapologetic for acting, as they see it, in defense of their friends and neighbors. “I’ve never gone to any antifa meetings,” said Yochelson, who lives in West Oakland. “But yeah, I don’t appreciate the idea of people forcing their ideals on my community and the people

33 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


I live around – being here to be violent and throw nonsense and verbal litter all over the place. I don’t need that, don’t want it, and I don’t think anyone in my community wants it.” Van de Walker said she’s fighting a noble cause that she’s not going to give up anytime soon, even if it means risking her life. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure my community, my friends, my family are all safe,” she said. “And I will do that until the day I die.” They are concerned about other political issues, too, such as a lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area and police treatment of people of color. But ultimately, their rising militancy feeds on the recent provocation of right-wing activists. For some other antifa activists in the Bay Area, however, the fight between fascism and anti-fascists has been raging a lot longer. The Nazi fighter Antifa activist Dominic stands vigilant in San Francisco on Aug. 26. That afternoon, Dominic and others within antifa confronted a group of protesters at Fisherman’s Wharf holding a banner reading, “Love Free Speech, Unafraid of Fake News, Ask Me My Point of View.” Credit: Paul Kuroda for Reveal. The first thing Dominic will tell you is that he has been fighting Nazis for more than 20 years. “I started in ’94,” he said. “Whenever they come to Berkeley, I have no problem physically encountering them.” Dominic is a heavily muscled Bay Area activist in his late 30s with a thick beard and an intense stare. In return for an agreement not to name him in this story, he freely described his illegal activities. Facing off against white supremacists and fascists in the streets, he says, renews the battle his grandfather fought on the beaches of Normandy in World War II. “I think about the Purple Heart my grandfather got trying to fight against this fascism that is in a new phase now,” he said. “It’s sad to me that we have to still be fighting it in 2017.” As one of the original activists with Anti-Racist Action, the group largely identified with bringing the concept of anti-fascism to America, Dominic said he spent years outing white supremacists to their neighbors, co-workers and bosses. He and other activists also lobbied California nightclubs to ban neo-Nazi punk bands. To Dominic, 2017 felt like déjà vu. Modern racists might eschew swastikas and overt neo-Nazi symbology, he said, but they unite under new racist symbols such as the Pepe the Frog character and the Kek flag, which mirrors a Nazi war flag. Early in the summer, Dominic focused on educating the public about the true meaning of these symbols, to expose these new racists. But a few weeks later, post-Charlottesville, Dominic’s tactics had escalated from education to action. In the runup to two planned right-wing rallies in late August, one in San Francisco, one in Berkeley, Dominic and other local antifa had organized their Rapid Response Team. The Heather Heyer Brigade consisted of a few dozen antifa who – acting on intel from a network of informants from watchful bartenders to activists scouring social media accounts – were on call to respond to reports of white supremacists or fascists on their home turf.

ANTIFA UNMASKED ::j 34


A BLACK-CLAD ARMY On Saturday, Aug. 26, Dominic allowed a reporter, producer and photographer to follow him around San Francisco, hopscotching through the city as he and his crew responded to reports of what they consider “Nazi” activity. On Signal, a secure messaging app, Dominic shared reports of his activities and the coordinates of where to meet next. At one point, he messaged that they were descending on a small group of right-wing protesters who had set up a banner at Fisherman’s Wharf. It read, “Love Free Speech, Unafraid of Fake News, Ask Me My Point of View.” Soon, the conservative protesters were surrounded by the black-clad group, screaming at them to get out of town. Mike Gaughan, a pedicab driver who witnessed the confrontation, said the antifa “were way more aggressive and intimidating than the protesters, to be honest.” Afterward, Dominic was unrepentant. “We shut them down,” he said. The protesters had been met with jeers, not fists, he said, because they weren’t on the brigade’s hit list of rightwing targets. Less than 24 hours later, other targets didn’t fare so well. ‘They’ve been chased out and they’re bloody’ Joey Gibson may be best described as an agitator. The Oregon activist, who founded the right-wing Patriot Prayer group, has made it clear that his goal is to rile up antifa activists. He wants “to expose them for who they are,” he told Reveal radio host Al Letson in August. That earned Gibson the central spot on the brigade’s “Know Your Nazi” flier. But the San Francisco rally Gibson had planned for that Saturday in San Francisco fizzled. Gibson popped up here and there on social media but remained elusive in person, out of range of the Heather Heyer Brigade. The next day, Gibson came to them. While the counterprotests against a planned – and also canceled – right-wing rally in central Berkeley that day were largely peaceful, Gibson and his de facto bodyguard, Tusitala Toese – a large Samoan American man who goes by the nickname “Tiny” – waited until Berkeley police stood down from their positions before wading into the middle of the most militant group of antifa. Gibson and Toese previously had said they were looking for moderate dialogue by coming to the Bay Area from Portland. “I’m not interested in extremists,” Gibson said in an interview a week before.

35 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


But in Berkeley, the two agitators ignored thousands of moderate leftists. Instead, with Toese decked out in football pads and goggles, they headed straight for the antifa inside Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park – a black-clad pack that included Dominic. The result was predictable. Gibson, Toese and Keith Campbell – a video blogger who previously had goaded the antifa on Twitter to come and fight in Berkeley – were pushed, punched, pepper-sprayed and chased out of the park. Gibson and Toese retreated behind a line of riot police. Campbell ended up flat on the street, being kicked and punched, before Letson, who was covering the rally for Reveal, shielded Campbell with his body. To outsiders, the turn of events seemed like a public relations nightmare for the antifa. But for Dominic, the protests were cause for celebration. Knocking back a cold Heineken less than a block from the scene, Dominic, bloody-knuckled, reflected on the day’s events. He boasted that he had personally chased away Gibson. “The people on our list are targets, so they got injured,” he said. “They’ve been chased out and they’re bloody. They know they can’t come to the Bay Area and spout that hate.” He was unhappy with Letson for interfering in the beating, saying of Campbell: “What does he deserve? He deserves potentially stitches or broken bones.” Gibson also considered the day a success. He said he achieved exactly what he had hoped to do: to make the antifa look like unhinged, undisciplined bullies who attack “innocent patriots” trying to initiate a cordial debate. Before long, Gibson was proven right – at least in the court of public opinion. ‘They’re cowards’. In the hours following the Berkeley protests, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson lavished praise and sympathy on Gibson and Campbell and branded the antifa who attacked them as “thugs.”

As the backlash built, Politico reported that federal law enforcement had set its sights on the antifa as well. The more moderate leftists who had marched at the Aug. 27 counterprotest looked on in disbelief. Showing Up for Racial Justice – the de facto organizers – rushed to the antifa’s defense. “Many of us were not aware until today of the crucial role that antifa have been playing to defend communities against white supremacist violence, at great personal risk,” said a statement attributed to Isaac Lev Szmonko of the Catalyst Project, an anti-racist organizing and education collective. “Today we saw them put their bodies on the line to contain and remove violent threats one after the other in situations that could have become very dangerous, especially for the people of color, queer and transgender people, and women who were present,” the statement said. “People were very grateful for the protection antifa offered.” For his part, Dominic remained defiant, riding on the hoots and high fives that had greeted the arrival of the black bloc that day, as well as the violence that followed as the antifa took on the right-wing agitators. “I think the only way to crush these movements is like we did in the ’80s and ’90s, by actually confronting them and showing them that we’re not scared,” he said. “That means going there but not initiating – letting them be the tough guys – and then knocking them down to size.”

“They’re cowards,” he said. Carlson failed to mention Gibson’s history of antagonism or Campbell’s Islamophobia – or his many threats and goads to the antifa on Twitter. This unnuanced narrative took hold in the mainstream media. “How Antifa Violence Has Split the Left,” read a Wall Street Journal headline. Democrats lambasted the antifa. MILITANT ANTIFA PROTESTOR Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin turned his back. Arreguin previously had echoed antifa perspectives in trying to block the Aug. 27 right-wing rally. But in the aftermath, he called the group a gang. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying the antifa “deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”

He deserves potentially stiches or broken bones

ANTIFA UNMASKED ::j 36


RECENT

AWARDS

37 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


2018 Academy Award, best documentary short subject, nominee Heroin(e) Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Russia’s New Scapegoats Reveal

2017

Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism Portraits of a Trump Supporter Scott Pham and Julia B. Chan

Society of Professional Journalists, Sunshine Award State Secrets Miranda S. Spivack

National Edward R. Murrow Award, Best News Documentary “Dropped and dismissed: Child sex abuse lost in the system” Reveal

National Edward R. Murrow Award, Sports Reporting “Making the Team” Rachel de Leon

Webby Award, best podcast, news and information “Voting rights – and wrongs” Reveal

JOURNALISM AWARDS ::j 38


2016 Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Video Journalism in Feature The Dead Unknown Michael Schiller, GW Schulz, Rachel de Leon and Amanda Pike

Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Explanatory Journalism in TV/video Atomic Vets Jennifer LaFleur, Amanda Pike, and David Ritsher; and Kyra Darnton of The Retro Report

Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Investigative in Radio/audio Decoding Discrimination Will Evans and Michael Montgomery

Gerald Loeb Award, Video, Finalist “Are Bakken Oil Field Workers Dying for Cheap Gas?” Jennifer Gollan, David Ritsher and Richard Coolidge of PBS NewsHour

39 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


2015 Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Journalist of the Year Jennifer Gollan

Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Investigative Reporting (print/text large division), First Place In North Dakota’s Bakken oil boom, there will be blood Jennifer Gollan

Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Investigative Reporting in radio/audio, First Place Screwed Christina Jewett, Will Evans, Marianne McCune and Delaney Hall

JOURNALISM AWARDS ::j 40


2014 The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Public Service Award The VA’s Opiate Overload Aaron Glantz, Adithya Sambamurthy, Aaron Williams and Agustin Armendariz Online News Association Award, Topical Reporting, Medium Returning Home to Battle The Center for Investigative Reporting

IRE Award, Broadcast/Video – Large Rehab Racket The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN

Society of American Business Editors and Writers Best in Energy, Finalist Death in the Bakken Jennifer Gollan Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Investigative Reporting in radio/ audio, First Place Screwed Christina Jewett, Will Evans, Marianne McCune and Delaney Hall The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, Public Service Award The VA’s Opiate Overload Aaron Glantz, Adithya Sambamurthy, Aaron Williams and Agustin Armendariz

41 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


2013 Sidney Award for the month of February “When companies hire temp workers by race, black applicants lose out” Will Evans, Michael Montgomery and Chip Mitchell of WBEZ Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Broken Shield The Center for Investigative Reporting

Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Rape in the Fields The Center for Investigative Reporting, UC Berkeley IRP, Frontline and Univision

News & Documentary Emmy Award, New Approaches: Current News Coverage “In Jennifer’s Room” Ryan Gabrielson, Carrie Ching, Marina Luz

JOURNALISM AWARDS ::j 42


STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION 43 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


Current Assets: Cash and Cash Equivalents

$

Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts

115,421

3,777,298

Grants and pledges recievable Prepaid expenses and other current assets Total current assets

297,430

142,968

$

4,333,117

$

3,346,216

Noncurrent assets: Grants and pledges receivable, net of discount Deposits

46,720

207,488

Property, equipment and improvements, net

3,600,424 Total noncurrent assets

$

7,933,541

Liabilities and Net Assets Current liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued expenses

$

Accrued payroll liabilities

373,824

271,807

68.935

Deferred Rent

4,942

Security Deposit Liability

4,632

Fiscal sponsorship liabilities Line of credit Total current liabilities

$

724,140

$

2449,067

$

7209401

Net Assets: Unrestricted deficit Temporarily restricted Total net assets

9658468

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2018 ::j 44


CHANGES IN NET ASSETS 45 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


Temporarily Restricted Assets

Unrestricted Net Assets

TOTAL 2018

Contributed income: Contributions/Donations

Grants

Corporate Sponsorships

Change in discount for multi-year receivables Net assets released from restrictions

Total contributed income

$

1,395,028

1,871,637

317,360

$

407,500

5,944,322

$

-

1,700,415

11,391,946

237,740

-

93855

(211,534)

7,098,356

(7,098,356)

-

3,804

-

8

-

10,682,381

(652,679)

$

13,118,567

Earned Income Advertising

Content fees

Investment income

Realized gains (losses) on investment sales Royalties

Fiscal Sponsorship Other

Total earned income Total revenue and support

169,038

5,356

-

476,490

10

272

-

5,344

-

30,344

-

569,401

2,737

16,380

197,583

(18)

-

8,832

-

48,387

10,879,964

(652,679)

$

13,687,968

9,134,329

-

8,270,548

524,325

-

506,399

Expenses Program services

General & Administrative Development

Total expenses Increase (decrease) in net assets

Net assets (deficit) at beginning of year

Net assets (deficit) at end of year

1,436,726

-

1,578,580

11,095,380

-

$

(215,416)

(652,679)

3,332,441

(2,233,651)

10,311,147

4,745,055

(2,449,067)

9,658,468

$

10,355,527

8,077,496

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2018 ::j 46


BOARD OF

DIRECTORS

47 :: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


Executive Chair Phil Bronstein Vice Chair Roy Bahat Vice Chair Jeff Ubben Treasurer Tom Lockard Secretary Susan Sachs Board Member Suzette Clarke Board Member Stephen Davis Board Member Blye Faust

Board Member William R. Hearst III Board Member Susan Hirsch Board Member Pete Kim Board Member Robert King Board Member Jon Logan Board Member Justin Nyweide Board Member Christian Selchau-Hansen Board Member Gabriel Stricker Board Member Howard Zack

REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018 ::j 48


49

:: REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018


REVEAL NEWS ANNUAL REPORT 2018 ::j 50


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