Foothills Forum is a nonpartisan, independent 501(c)3 nonprofit located in the Town of Washington, Va. One of a growing universe of civic news organizations in the United States, Foothills at its simplest raises community support for local news. Since 2014, we have partnered with the award-winning weekly Rappahannock News and other organizations to research and report on matters of concern to the 7,300 residents of Rappahannock County, Va.

Foothills Forum’s mission is to:

  • Frame and research local issues.
  • Have published and distributed explanatory, solutions-based reports on those issues.
  • Convene residents and partners in civil discussions on what we can accomplish together.

The 2015 Foothills Forum Survey, developed with the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research, set a baseline of local concerns, issues and views on local services and quality of life. Since then, Foothills-supported researchers and reporters – respected, experienced journalists from the nation’s top news organizations – have regularly presented detailed, nuanced reports, enabling the for-profit local weekly to publish high-quality journalism it admittedly could not produce on its own [See Reporting Projects]. The reports, complemented by striking interactive graphics and photography, have won top honors for in-depth/investigative journalism five years in a row from the Virginia Press Association.

The nonprofit responded to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a team of reporters could inform the community about the strange New Normal impacting health, education, business, government and public safety.

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