Times publisher receives journalism award

Charles Sennott, founder and editor-in-chief of the GroundTruth Project, received the James W. Foley Foundation's World Press Freedom Award during the foundation's 10th-anniversary fundraiser.


Martha’s Vineyard Times publisher Charles Sennott received a James F. Foley Foundation World Press Freedom Award on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., for his work in founding the GroundTruth Project.

GroundTruth, along with its programs Report for America and Report for the World, recruits and supports journalists to cover under-reported communities and issues. Report for America has created more than 600 local reporting positions in over 300 news organizations in the U.S. and its territories.

“I believe the challenge now for all of us who care about press freedom is not just to cover the story but to help build local news ecosystems in each of these places,” Sennott said in his acceptance speech. “We have to support local reporters who serve their own local communities, in their own countries, if we are going to truly affect change.”

The James W. Foley Foundation provides advocacy for wrongfully detained Americans around the world, and collaborates with nongovernmental organizations to improve safety techniques for journalists.

The foundation was created by Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, a journalist captured and killed by ISIS in 2014 while working as a freelance correspondent during the Syrian civil war. James Foley was also a colleague of Sennott’s at news organization GlobalPost.

Both the Foley Foundation and GroundTruth began in 2014, after Foley’s death.

“This award challenges all of us to keep fighting for press freedom, to try to find ways to protect journalists in the field, to offer hope to a new generation who will serve in the field,” Sennott said Wednesday.

“It is heart-wrenching to think of our colleagues in prisons in Egypt and Myanmar, or those who are suffering and left behind in Afghanistan and Iraq, as the foreign press corps has moved on from those datelines. I think of those reporters right now in Ukraine and Gaza, facing one of the deadliest years on record, with nearly 100 journalists killed in Gaza alone,” he added.

Other award recipients were former U.S. Army Intelligence officer Chris Costa, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate, and the Narrative 4 personal storytelling project, led by Colum McCann and Lisa Consiglio.

Sennott lives in Chilmark, and was named publisher of The Times when owner Steve Bernier purchased the paper at the end of 2023.


  1. This recogniton is so well deserved. The work of the “Ground Truth” project is incredibly important as we attempt to navigate the current state of the world. Congratulations to Charlie!

  2. But, but, but, what about this newspapers blatant antisemitism…
    And the other one too!

  3. Some antisemites use the Times comment feature as a way to behave like 13 year old trolling bullies. Jew haters think that taunting, bullying, trolling a Jewish person is fun, like a sick and cruel kid pulling the wings off flies. It’s especially fun to joke and deny that the Times has an antisemite problem with what they are allowing.

    Hess’s transparent comment here, among his many dozens of antisemitic garbage comments over 7 months, is on par with the viciousness of deniers of the 10/7 atrocities. He’s violated the Terms of Service Agreement more times than I can count. When a moderated forum allows this stupid taunting obviously directed at a Jewish person who has been relentlessly accused of antisemitic lies for months by a small but growing group who attack me for standing up for Israel, it’s time to wonder if the problem of antisemitism on Martha’s Vineyard isn’t being encouraged and promoted by this newspaper. There’s no question of the antisemitic content in other comments, including Hess’s, and other people’s letters, articles, and editorials in this paper. To be clear, the Gazette has never published a single antisemitic sentence that I have seen. Why does the Times do it? Perhaps the new owners need to school their writers in sensitivity training about Jew-hatred and a lesson in Middle East history. Clearly, some people do not recognize antisemitism even when it hits them over the head. The only other possibility is that antisemitism is acceptable to this newspaper. I hope that’s not the case. It’s time this paper take a look at what they’re doing to the island’s Jewish community and to everyone, including themselves.

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