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McClatchy Announces "The War Within Initiative" to Help Ease the Burden of Medical Debt Among Veterans, Servicemembers and Their Families
Thursday, November 08, 2018

Fundraising Campaign Linked to Facebook Watch Series Will Support RIP Medical Debt and Launch on Veterans Day

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- McClatchy (NYSE American: MNI) announced today an initiative that aims to help erase the medical debt of veterans, servicemembers and their families in partnership with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt. To kick off the campaign, the McClatchy Foundation has approved a donation that will enable RIP Medical Debt to abolish $1 million in medical debt for military families.

The campaign will run in conjunction with "The War Within," a 10-episode McClatchy Studios documentary series launching November 28 on Facebook Watch, which will chronicle the lives of three Afghanistan war veterans who are helping their brothers and sisters in arms cope with the myriad effects of war while themselves grappling with PTSD and the other challenges of reintegration.

"We're proud to join with our communities across the country to tap into the collective force of our compassion to support our veterans and their families -- beyond our profound gratitude -- in this meaningful way," said Craig Forman, CEO of McClatchy. "We're confident that our viewers and readers across the country will be motivated to contribute to this effort, inspired by the extraordinary work our journalists produce in honor of Veterans Day and beyond."

"Our military servicemembers give selflessly everyday to defend the values and freedoms of this country," said Jerry Ashton, former U.S. Navy journalist and RIP's co-founder and EVP. "We're enormously pleased to partner with McClatchy in advance of Veterans Day to let service men and women, veterans and their families know that their communities care for them."

McClatchy will launch its "War Within Initiative" on Veterans Day with a call to action encouraging viewers and readers across its 30 newsrooms to donate to RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that buys bundles of medical debt at a steep discount and forgives it. McClatchy will also support the fundraising effort with a social media campaign on the Facebook pages of these local newsrooms across the country and after each episode of "The War Within" on Facebook Watch, which will run until the end of January 2019.

Profiles of the three main characters featured in "The War Within" will be published by the McClatchy news sites of their home states -- Washington State: The (Tacoma) News Tribune, The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald and The Tri-City Herald; and eight sites in the Carolinas including, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and The State in Columbia, South Carolina. During the week of Veterans Day, McClatchy's Florida newsrooms -- the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald -- will feature profiles of veterans of multiple wars and stories about the challenges they face.

More than half of McClatchy's newsrooms across 14 states are located about an hour's drive from a U.S. military base.

McClatchy has a history of community-based campaigns to support good causes. From Eleanor McClatchy's support for the war effort in the 1940s -- which included, among many other projects, a Fresno Bee campaign to collect and send pictures of local newborn babies to their fathers overseas -- to the Charlotte Observer's annual Summer Camp Fund that raises money in the community to send children to camp, McClatchy newsrooms have always played an active role in helping their communities.

About McClatchy Studios
McClatchy Studios is the documentary production arm of McClatchy and is dedicated to revelatory nonfiction storytelling driven by local characters with national appeal. We tap into the rich, on-the-ground reporting by our team of of multimedia journalists based in local communities across the US and package it in formats that engage audiences on a variety of platforms. We find compelling ways to embrace everything storytelling can be -- inspiring, motivating and entertaining.

About RIP Medical Debt
RIP Medical Debt is a nonprofit that buys and forgives medical debt across America. RIP works with individual donors, philanthropists and organizations to purchase medical debt for pennies on the dollar to provide financial relief for those burdened by impossible medical bills. Founded in 2014 by two former collections industry executives, Craig Antico & Jerry Ashton, RIP rose to national prominence on an episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver in which RIP facilitated the abolishment of $15M in medical debt. To learn more visit

About Facebook Watch:
Facebook Watch is a place to discover and enjoy shows on Facebook. Home to a wide range of shows - from scripted comedy and drama, to competition and reality series, to individual creators and live sports - Facebook Watch is a video platform where episodic content, community and conversation come together. This is a personalized viewing experience, where you can discover new series based on what your friends are watching, and catch up on the shows you follow. Facebook Watch is available for free on mobile apps across Apple and Android, on desktop, laptop and on TV apps listed here:

About McClatchy
operates 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with strong independent local journalism in the public interest and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy is a publisher of iconic brands including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and listed on the New York Stock Exchange American under the symbol MNI. #ReadLocal #WatchLocal

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