THE REPORTERS INC

Powerful Multimedia Storytelling

aka Reporters, Inc.   |   Richfield, MN   |  www.thereporters.org

Mission

The Reporters Inc. is a nonprofit [501(c)(3)] journalistic production house. We’re dedicated to promoting social awareness, encouraging social change and championing social justice through powerful multimedia storytelling. Our projects are designed to inspire and enlighten you, to elicit meaningful dialogue, root out misinformation, dispel stereotypes and prejudices, and challenge the status quo. We tell stories that help you better understand the lives of others, and in the process, examine, analyze and reflect on your own life. Whether it’s a groundbreaking independent documentary, a thought-provoking online article, or a powerful service-oriented video, The Reporters presents stories that will linger in your mind and simmer in your consciousness. We produce work that matters.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Reporters Inc. is a proud member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the International Documentary Association.

We meet all standards of the Charities Review Council.

We create and produce educational, historical, cultural and current events documentaries across the globe. Our Peabody, Murrow and Emmy award-winning team of journalists and videographers investigate socially relevant topics through the extraordinary stories of ordinary people.

Our projects are designed to inspire and enlighten you, to elicit meaningful dialogue, root out misinformation, dispel stereotypes and prejudices, and challenge the status quo. We tell stories that help you better understand the lives of others, and in the process, examine, analyze and reflect on your own life.

We retain complete editorial control over our productions. We avoid all conflicts of interest that might compromise the integrity of our work.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Mr. Mark H Saxenmeyer

Main address

825 West 65th STreet #23365

Richfield, MN 55423 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

05-0613976

NTEE code info

Film, Video (A31)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Like many other charities, we are in constant need of funding. We have expanded our fundraising efforts in the past year to take full advantage of GiveMN.org's annual "Give to the Max Day" and we also organized a #GivingTuesday fundraiser through Facebook. We have successfully utilized crowdfunding (via IndieGoGo) in the past and plan to do so again. Our main goal. moving forward, is to cultivate and sustain giving from reliable regular donors. We are hopeful that upon release of our upcoming documentaries, "The Queens" and "The Innocent Convicts" we will have shown donors that their contributions are paying off in meaningful, substantive ways.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

"The Queens"

Now streaming at www.thereporters.org!

Using the framework of the 35-year-old Miss Continental Pageant as its backdrop, The Queens explores the complex and fascinating transgender subculture of competitive female impersonation entertainers and their driven and dedicated quest for the crown.

We follow the journeys of several contestants as they diligently plan, prepare and plot their paths to victory. Along the way, we meet several former titleholders, as well as some who have repeatedly competed in the pageant but never left victorious (and are perhaps a bit bitter).

But the documentary focuses on more than just the competition. We delve into the whys and hows of the physical alterations they’ve made to their outer bodies (silicone injections, breast implants, facial reconstruction, etc.), their inner bodies (hormone therapies) and their decisions to refrain from following through with sex reassignment surgery, in order to remain true female impersonators and be eligible to compete and perform as such.

We also talk with female impersonators who live their lives as men outside the pageant and performance world, and the occasional tensions between them and those who’ve been surgically enhanced.

We examine the difficulty many have finding true and lasting romantic relationships. We address the rejection many have experienced from family, as well as the changing opinions and acceptance of transgender individuals by society in general today.

Because Miss Continental is so closely linked to the legendary female impersonation nightclub, The Baton, in Chicago (Jim Flint created and owns them both), we take a side trip deep inside this iconic, 46-year-old show lounge. We dig into its storied history, and meet the permanent cast, many of whom are former Miss Continental title-holders themselves. We learn why this is the holy grail of female impersonation, and why many new Continental pageant winners hope their victories will lead to permanent employment there for them, as well.

We reveal the shadier and sadder parts of The Baton's past—mob and police pay-offs to stay open, drugs, prostitution, AIDS, crime, tragic accidents, and even murder. Several former Baton performers (and Miss Continentals) have met horrible, haunting deaths.

Returning to Continental, we get to the bottom of why winning this crown means so much to those in pursuit of the title, why they see it as a stepping stone to greater fame, fortune and success, and–yes--how it’s also a cut-throat competition where occasional acts of sabotage have been known to take place.

You'll be awestruck by the amount of time and money spent (on makeup, costumes, wigs, backup dancers and more) to win this crown. The contestants shimmer and seduce, titillate and twirl. The glitz, the glamour, the talent and the beauty on display here rival—no--put the Miss America and Miss USA pageants to shame!

With thousands in the audience cheering, there are tears of joy for those who perform well under the Miss Continental stage lights; when the show ends, there are tears of heartbreak in the shadows for those who fared poorly.

To some outsiders, and the uninformed, the dolled-up, lip-synched routines at both Miss Continental and The Baton might seem frivolous, perhaps even pointless, after a few viewings. But The Queens will show you why creating this illusion and this mystique are a way of life for--not only these performers--but for thousands of others just like them (and their devoted fans) across the United States.

Year after year, decade after decade, the show simply must go on.

Population(s) Served

If your purposeful organization, business, cause, or non-profit fits our mission, The Reporters Inc. looks forward to helping you tell your story in an authentic, journalistic fashion.

Population(s) Served

When the subject is race, people shut up. They don’t want to talk about it, especially in mixed company. Few seem willing to speak openly or candidly, for fear of being called a racist. And as a result, questions and answers, issues and problems, simply don’t get discussed thoroughly and honestly in America today.

Instead, ignorance festers, fear grows, stereotypes persist, segregation increases.

"The Experiment in Black and White" is a concept designed to help change all that. And it’s a proven concept—one that won a national Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award. It’s a concept that the creators of the original documentary project believe is ripe for re-envisioning.

The original "Experiment" brought five black and five white Chicago-area residents (all strangers to one another) together for one week, sequestering them inside a home. They lived, ate, slept, socialized, and debated race-related issues with one another.

They left their jobs and their families behind, all with the same goal: to break down barriers, to work through their prejudices and biases, and to better educate both themselves and the hundreds of thousands of people who would end up watching the project. (The participants were selected with the assistance of race relations experts.)

The participants were given daily assignments and tasks, designed and facilitated in part by professors from the University of Illinois, Northwestern, DePaul, and other schools. They conversed about everything from slavery reparations and racial profiling, to affirmative action and the use of the ‘n’ word. There were talks about discrimination and crime, language and behavior, cultural and sociological perceptions—and misperceptions. The conversations were eye opening, provocative, and sometimes controversial. Yet they were also rational, meaningful, and substantive.

In the end, much of what was expressed publicly by these participants often echoed the views of the general public–opinions and feelings many people may voice privately but fear or resist saying aloud because of the potential repercussions in our "politically correct” culture. In "The Experiment in Black and White," the housemates were refreshingly and sometimes stunningly honest. There was no tiptoeing around any issue whatsoever. Though all arrived ready to defend their strong opinions, they were also willing to change them if convinced otherwise.

Some issues were definitely not resolved, but it’s safe to say that everyone involved in this project gained a better understanding of one another. Each person worked diligently towards bridging the racial divide.

Many journalism critics and awards panels lauded the original project. The Chicago Sun-Times called it "bold and eye-opening. Rarely has local television news confronted real-life prejudices with as much courage and honesty.”

More details can be found here: http://www.thereporters.org/project/the-experiment-in-black-and-white/

Population(s) Served

We regularly publish original in-depth written articles, commentaries, essays and investigations from a broad and diverse range of voices. They’re intended to create a community conversation online. We have the time, the space, the talent, and the experience to put the meat on the bones of a story.

Our work comes from people you wouldn’t necessarily hear from in a traditional or mainstream media publication or website. The newest posts can be found on our home page, followed by links to our past work.

The Reporters Inc. is a proud member of The Investigative News Network (INN), a collaboration of more than 90 nonprofit newsrooms dedicated to serving the public interest. Our articles are syndicated and shared with hundreds of other media organizations, online magazines, top blogs, etc.

Population(s) Served

In this new independent, feature-length documentary, The Reporters Inc. (www.thereporters.org) investigates the Cole case and others; the production utilizes their stories as a springboard to delve into the causes surrounding false and wrongful convictions, including racial inequality and bias in the American law enforcement and judicial systems.

B) BACKGROUND:

As of September 2015, the National Registry of Exonerations lists more than 1,650 men and women who’ve been cleared of wrongful convictions in the last 25 years. 47 percent were black and 40 percent had been incarcerated for at least ten years before their exonerations. Leaders of the Registry, a project of the University of Michigan Law School and the most comprehensive collection of exonerations in the U.S., believe the list represents just a sliver of the true number of those falsely accused and still imprisoned.

In fact, some legal experts estimate as many as one out of every ten currently imprisoned men and women in the U.S. is innocent.

At the same time, in a 2006 opinion, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia states that, at the very most, the number of wrongful felony convictions in America stands at no more than 0.027 percent.

Regardless, all can agree that even a single false conviction is troubling.

C) OBJECTIVE:

One of the United States’ most cherished tenets is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. This documentary will examine and document the causes, reasons and aftermath of harrowing wrongful convictions. Based on extensive research, in-depth interviews, exclusive footage and compelling visuals, the goal is to beam a powerful light on the grave injustices and horrendous penalties the wrongfully convicted have suffered, the disruptions and agony caused for their families, and the failings of law enforcement in America. We want to spur action and elevate conversation around these issues.

This documentary will present a narrative in the conversation, explore discriminatory policing, raise visibility of racial injustice, and promote justice system accountability in the U.S. and around the world.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

Charities Review Council 2018

Affiliations & memberships

Institute for NonProfit News 2013

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Reporters Inc. is dedicated to promoting social awareness and change through powerful multimedia storytelling. We do so through three main components: Independent Documentaries, Independent Online Articles, and Video Storytelling Services.

Our documentary projects are designed to inspire and enlighten you, to elicit meaningful dialogue, root out misinformation, dispel stereotypes and prejudices, and challenge the status quo. We tell stories that help you better understand the lives of others, and in the process, examine, analyze and reflect on your own life.

On our website, we publish original news analyses, feature stories, commentaries and essays, as well as exclusive book excerpts and investigations. Our articles are intended to create a community conversation for you online. We have the time, the talent, and the experience to dig deeply into a story. Whether you're an under-resourced nonprofit or other purposeful organization wishing to better communicate your message or cause, you can hire us to create memorable presentations.

Our video services are effective primarily because we utilize a journalistic approach to accomplish a marketing goal. Through research and interviews, our storytelling techniques are designed to motivate and persuade your targeted audiences. We put human faces on the facts and figures in an informative yet compelling fashion.

We also help you build on the momentum of our finished productions by showing you how to most effectively use them cultivate the attention of other media—in order to reach the broadest audience possible.

Whether it's a groundbreaking independent documentary, a thought-provoking online article, or a powerful service-oriented video, The Reporters Inc. presents stories that will linger in your mind and simmer in your consciousness. We produce work that matters, and work that makes a difference.

To fund our documentaries, we rely on the support and donations of those who believe independent media is necessary and vital for true journalistic work to thrive and prosper in the 21st century.

We utilize the film festival circuit to introduce our work to the public, and then pursue wider theatrical releases, televised airings, home video distribution, and online digital opportunities. Prior to seeking out funding for many of our projects, we secure commitments to air them from public television. Our productions are often used by schools, workplaces, religious groups and other organizations as a tool for conflict resolution, cultural awareness, diversity training, and modern education.

Our independent online articles come from a broad and diverse range of voices from around the world--people who are often underrepresented in traditional or mainstream media. The Reporters Inc. is a proud member of the Investigative News Network (INN), a collaboration of more than 90 nonprofit newsrooms dedicated to serving the public interest. Our articles are syndicated and shared with hundreds of other media organizations, online magazines and top blogs.

And as for our video storytelling services, when you utilize this service to tell your story, the program fee includes a tax-deductible donation to The Reporters Inc. That helps us fund production of our independent documentaries and online articles.

The Reporters Inc. has assembled a group of experienced journalists, marketers, and nonprofit managers to serve on its staff and its advisory committee and board of directors. With experience in all of these key areas, we have been able to very confidently pursue our mission.

In addition, the board and staff include distinguished professionals in the fields of television and film production, government, education, health, human resources, sales, computer technology, finance, art, business, and law.

They are black and white, Latino and Asian, gay and straight, male and female, young and old(er), wealthy and not-so-wealthy, Christian, Jewish, spiritual and agnostic. They live in 14 states across the country–in cities both large and small. They hail from nine countries on four continents. All are committed to the mission of The Reporters Inc.

We have in-house editing facilities, state-of-the-art computers, a constant team of enthusiastic college interns, and several talented videographers with whom we work on our video productions.

in 2020, we released our critically-acclaimed documentary, "The Queens," It's now available for streaming via our website at www.thereporters.org.

We continue working on documentary series
about wrongful convictions, which we're calling "Guilty Until Proven Innocent."
The film will profile several major
cases across the country, including cases in
California, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin, connected to the
cases of Lamont McCoy, Uriah Courtney, Michael Hansen,
Audrey Edmunds and the mysterious death of Tom
Monfils in a Green Bay paper mill in 1992.

We have reached out to PBS stations across the country
to gauge their support and interest in airing the completed
production and received Letters of Intent from PBS
stations in 10 states. Their support
virtually guarantees national distribution.
To fund the project, we have sought out grants and
received a major gift from the Minnesota Bar Association
Foundation. We've also raised funds via a crowdfunding
campaign with IndieGoGo.

More information, as well as three trailers for the film, can
be found on our website at:
http://www.thereporters.org/project/guiltyuntilproveninnocent/

We are also developing plans to finish a historical
documentary about life in South Africa after apartheid,
tentatively called Reaching for the Rainbow. We've shot about half of the film and
we now need to return to the country
to re-interview our subjects, now that time has passed.
The goal is to showcase how attitudes among black and
white South Africans have changed or evolved. More
information can be found on our website at:
http://www.thereporters.org/project/reaching-for-therainbow/

Every year, we published dozens of original original articles,
essays, commentaries, book excerpts, investigations and
news analyses.We expanded the reach of our articles by “boosting" our
Facebook posts promoting the articles. We also increased
our presence on Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and
Tumblr. Our articles continue to be syndicated through Newsbank
and Newstex and shared with hundreds of other media
organizations, online magazines, top blogs, etc.

Financials

THE REPORTERS INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE REPORTERS INC

Board of directors
as of 6/13/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Adam Gower

The Wedge Co-Op

Term: 2018 -

Rashanah Baldwin

WVON-FM/Englwood Community News

Carol Bauss

National Jury Project

Chris Davis

Freelance Videographer

Benee Smith

Nokia

Lisa Ross

Ross Consulting

Jen Santoro-Rotty

Actress/Make Up Artist

Aaron Stillwell

CA Telephone Access Program

Mark Sullivan

Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.

Gary Willihnganz

Intel

Kim Whiting

Psychotherapist

Jim McCleary

Freelance Journalist

Jackie Weinberg

Supergurl Images

Lynn Moller

Paralegal

Kari Iverson-Sechi

Producer

Joan Treppa

Writer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/13/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/13/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.