The Counter, previously known as Institute for the New Food Economy from 2015 until 2019, is a left-leaning news organization and a project of the Windward Fund, a funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by the Washington, D.C.-based left-of-center philanthropic consultancy Arabella Advisors. In Winward Fund’s 2018 tax returns, the fund reported providing The Counter with $695,000. 1 While the outlet covers a range of story topics, its primary and original focus was food and agriculture policy.
The Counter covers stories within the categories of politics, business, environment, culture, and technology; it provided updates about the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020. Having started with a focus on food and agriculture, and still maintaining a concentration with those topics, The Counter has covered the politics behind the food industry and how they impact the agricultural economy. In addition to categories of coverage, The Counter publishes 11 topical series: Award Winners, Eating-In, Investigations, SNAP Wars, The Carnivore’s Dilemma, The Hands That Feed Us, The Shutdown Notebook, Weekend Reads, and What is Regenerative Agriculture. 3
While The Counter describes its delivery as journalistic, and its website does indicate tones closer to neutral than many other news platforms, its overall delivery has a casual tone, which was addressed in an interview with Beyond Bylines. Editor-in-chief Kate Cox explained how the platform balances news delivery with a conversational tone. “We write the news in voice. And we do it for two reasons: One, because humans report these stories…and second, Second, we cover an often opaque and very perplexing supply chain. Helping our readers connect the dots between those parts of the system they can’t see and the parts they encounter in their everyday lives is sometimes best done with a sense of humor and a pizza-and-a-six-pack tone of voice.” 4
Jeffrey Kittay is the founder and publisher for The Counter. Prior to founding The Counter, Kittay was a professor at Yale and Columbia University and founded the Lingua Franca business magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from Amherst College, an honorary Ph.D. from Amherst College, and an earned a Ph.D. in French language and literature from New York University. 5
Kate Cox is the editor-in-chief at The Counter. Her background in journalism ranges from freelance contribution to production. Cox has contributed to The Nation, Huffington Post, Off the Radar Travel, and 12th Street Online. 6 7 8 She holds a bachelor’s degree in writing from The New School and a master of science in journalism from Columbia University.
Joe Fassley is the deputy editor for The Counter. Fassley is also an author with Penguin Random House and The Atlantic. 9 10 He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Iowa.
- Windward Fund. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (form 990) 2017. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/473522162/201823169349303862/full
- “Code of Ethics.” The Counter. Accessed May 25, 2020. https://thecounter.org/ethics-guidelines/.
- “Series.” The Counter. Accessed May 26, 2020. https://thecounter.org/series/.
- Jasinski, Anna. “5 Questions with The New Food Economy: Digging Deep on the Complex Forces That Shape How and What We Eat.” Beyond Bylines, March 21, 2018. https://mediablog.prnewswire.com/2018/03/21/5-questions-new-food-economy/.
- Karabel, Jerome. “The Ivy Curtain.” The Washington Post. WP Company, October 30, 2005. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/entertainment/books/2005/10/30/the-ivy-curtain/a5bdfe02-c0ab-4fa7-aafb-5b19b45ca99a/.
- “Kate Cox.” HuffPost. Accessed May 25, 2020. https://www.huffpost.com/author/kate-cox.
- “Kate Cox.” The Nation. Accessed May 25, 2020. https://www.thenation.com/authors/kate-cox/.
- “Kate Cox.” Kate Cox. Accessed May 26, 2020. http://www.12thstreetonline.com/author/kate-cox/.
- Fassler, Joe. “Joe Fassler.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. Accessed May 25, 2020. https://www.theatlantic.com/author/joe-fassler/.
- “Joe Fassler: Penguin Random House.” PenguinRandomhouse.com. Accessed May 25, 2020. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2144556/joe-fassler.