Our Mission in Motion

On April 17, the Contently Foundation published “Frack Off!” in partnership with the Huffington Post. It was a story that spoke to the heart of our mission: an under-reported problem in a corner of the country often forgotten by the media. The story followed mother-and-daughter activists Stacy Long and Judy Wanchisn and their fight to halt Pennsylvania General Energy’s plan to dump fracking waste in Grant Township, Pennsylvania.

Sara Stewart, a freelance journalist working on behalf of the foundation, tracked the story for more than a year—getting to know both the individuals involved and the legal precedents important to the case. Since it was published, the story has been shared by 600-plus people. Suffice it to say, we’re proud our work sparked such a far-reaching conversation.

This week, that dialogue was amplified further when Rolling Stone published a piece that also covered Grant’s fight to keep fracking waste from polluting their town’s drinking water. “How a Small Town is Standing Up to Fracking,” while reported independently of our article, highlights the same groundbreaking legal proceedings launched by Long and Wanchisn that our piece first brought to light last month.

The Contently Foundation’s mission is to nurture the craft of investigative journalism by seeking out important stories that may be overlooked by most of the media and providing the resources for journalists to give a voice to those stories. All this is done in the hopes that our reporting strikes a chord and brings attention to the problem. Rolling Stone picking up on our story and providing an additional voice to the conversation is a prime example of our mission in motion.