Resolve Co-Founders Win Prestigious ONA 2023 Impact Award

Imahni Moise
Resolve Philly Co-Founders Jean Friedman-Rudovsky and Cassie Haynes posed in front of a brick wall

The Online News Association Impact Award honors trailblazers whose work in digital journalism and dedication to innovation exhibits a substantial impact on the industry.

We are thrilled to announce that our co-founders, Jean Friedman-Rudovsky and Cassie Haynes, have been selected as the recipients of the prestigious Online News Association (ONA) 2023 Impact Award. 

The ONA Impact Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated trailblazing dedication to innovation in the field of digital journalism. Jean and Cassie's groundbreaking efforts in local news collaboration and community-responsive reporting have not only transformed Resolve Philly into one of the nation's most highly regarded news organizations but have also set new standards for the industry.

Jean and Cassie founded Resolve Philly in 2018, building on the success of The Reentry Project, a year-long collaborative reporting initiative tackling the critical issue of reentry from prison in Philadelphia. Over the years, Resolve has grown exponentially, evolving from a two-person operation to an organization with 24 full-time staff and an annual budget of $3.6 million.

One of the cornerstones of Resolve's success lies in our collaborative reporting model, which has become the gold standard for local news collaboration. This model, emphasizing equity among newsroom partners and community engagement, has been emulated in cities and regions worldwide and has been the subject of numerous case studies and best practice workshops.

Through Resolve Philly, our trailblazing co-founders have spearheaded the reform of journalism by identifying three essential pillars that newsrooms should use to shape their strategy if the industry truly wants to be a resource, tool, and service to the community. Resolve’s dedication to participatory and community-responsive journalism, bridging the information divide, and working collaboratively across media outlets sets us apart from traditional newsrooms. We intentionally involve the community in shaping our news agenda and reporting, bridge the information divide to ensure that news and information are accessible to all, and work collaboratively with our newsroom partners, enriching our reporting and providing comprehensive coverage of the issues that matter most to our communities.

In addition to their work reshaping journalism, our co-founders' commitment to shared leadership has significantly influenced the industry. Jean and Cassie served as co-Executive Directors from Resolve’s founding until June 2023, demonstrating the power and success of shared decision-making at the executive level, breaking barriers, and reshaping perceptions of leadership models in non-profit news organizations. Their emphasis on anti-patriarchal and anti-racist practices has not only enhanced the effectiveness of their leadership but has also set a vital example for others to follow.

Jean and Cassie have also prioritized creating an internal workplace that fosters operational resilience. By implementing policies and practices that allow team members to bring their whole selves to work and lead balanced, healthy lives, Resolve was recently named a 2023 Best Place to Work, by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Thanks to the leadership of our amazing co-founders, Resolve's work has set a benchmark for news and media organizations worldwide. Our dedication to participatory and community-responsive journalism, bridging the information divide, and collaborative reporting serves as an inspiration for the entire industry.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to our incredible leaders, Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, our current Executive Director, and Cassie Haynes, our former co-Executive Director, for their remarkable achievements and for being recognized with the 2023 Online News Association Impact Award. Their exceptional work at Resolve Philly exemplifies the transformative potential of digital journalism in making a lasting positive impact on society. 


Attending or covering ONA23 here in Philadelphia? See Jean and Cassie in action, discussing how they use their own experiences crafting Resolve leadership transition to help other news outlets design their own strategies on Friday, August 25, from 2:30–3:30 pm.