From the Publisher: Why becoming a nonprofit is the next step for RealWV

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Publisher

Thirteen months ago, Matthew Young and I started The Real WV with a simple vision–get the real story out about West Virginia. We wanted to feature West Virginians doing amazing work, provide high-quality journalism, and preserve Appalachian culture. 

It took off like we never imagined. We reached more than ten million people in the first year! This week, we will publish our 2,000th story. We are the fastest growing media organization in the state. Now, people visit our website and social media for original, West Virginia content every single day. 

With the help of talented journalists across the state, we are working hard to cover as many hills and hollers as we can. We all have other jobs we love, but RealWV is our passion.

There’s just one little problem. The demand for RealWV content across our state is skyrocketing, and our small team can’t keep up while maintaining the level of professionalism, detail, and originality that makes RealWV special. 

So in late 2023, we made a BIG decision. We decided to become a nonprofit foundation, dedicated to providing news and Appalachian culture as an educational adventure! 

We are excited about this direction for our future for a few reasons. One, it will allow us to maintain complete creative control and editorial independence. We are dedicated to keeping it real. Two, it will provide an opportunity to receive funding via multiple means–grants, foundations, advertisers, and donations from readers such as yourself. Three, it will afford us the opportunity to pay our writers a living wage while also hiring more writers across the state in order to cover more of our small town stories. 

The amount of support you’ve shown as our readers in year one has been overwhelmingly joyous. Thank you! 

If you’d like to support us in getting the real story out, there are several ways to help: 

  • STORY IDEAS. Send us your story ideas, big and small, via email:
  • BOOKMARK US. Visit every day for your state and local news. The more people we reach, the better. We are also expanding our social media reach all the time. 
  • DONATE. Give online via Paypal or send a check to The Real WV, 237 Locust St, Ronceverte, WV, 24970. Your donation is tax-deductible and will allow us to tell more Appalachian stories. 
  • ADVERTISE. If you’d like to advertise your business, group, or event, let us know! There are thousands of eyes on our site each day, and we love partnering with West Virginians doing great things. 

What a wonderful ride it has already been! And it’s only the beginning. We are proud to be your source for the real stories across West Virginia. Local news, state news, good news, cultural news, and more–food, music, sports, public health, and investigative journalism you won’t find anywhere else. 

Yall stay in touch!


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