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Knight Foundation Report: Getting Local: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability

March 11, 2012 in Community, Resources, Revenue, Technology

In the emerging landscape of non-profit news, good journalism is not enough. Even with generous foundation support, high-quality reporting alone will not create an organization that can sustain its ability to produce news in the public interest.

Instead, successful news organizations – even the nonprofit ones  – have to act like digital businesses, making revenue experimentation, entrepreneurship and community engagement important pieces of the mix. Understanding how to create social and economic value and how to adapt and innovate are just as important as good content.

…“Getting Local,” offers a detailed look at some of the country’s leading online local nonprofit news ventures, providing data on how they are generating revenue, engaging users and cultivating donors.

It also offers a useful way for foundations and others interested in supporting nonprofit news to think about and assess the sustainability of these types of emerging organizations.” Source: Getting Local: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability

Block by Block

February 24, 2012 in Community, Experiments, Resources

Block by Block is a network for online pioneers who are creating sustainable models to provide community, neighborhood and local niche news.

With support from The Patterson Foundation, Block by Block is working with publishers and editors of independent local start ups, both for-profit and nonprofit. We want to help them share what they are learning and what they are struggling with, and to provide resources such as community management, training, mentoring and networking.” Source: Block by Block

CJR’s Guide to Online News Startups

February 24, 2012 in Community, Resources

The News Frontier Database is a searchable, living, and ongoing documentation of digital news outlets across the country. Featuring originally reported profiles and extensive data sets on each outlet, the NFDB is a tool for those who study or pursue online journalism, a window into that world for the uninitiated, and, like any journalistic product, a means by which to shed light on an important topic. We plan to build the NFDB into the most comprehensive resource of its kind.” Source: CJR’s Guide to Online News Startups

 

“‘Before we launched the database there was no comprehensive resource documenting the many online-only news sites, both national and local, that have emerged in recent years. It’s a big, highly diverse world — overwhelmingly so — and we wanted to help people get a sense of what’s out there. We’re not comprehensive yet in terms of the sheer number of sites we’ve documented — that will come — but we are comprehensive in the amount of data we collect on every site we profile.

Another major reason was that there’s a lot of talk about online news and online news business models, but very little reporting on how online news sites actually function — and that’s especially true for local news sites. We wanted our contribution to that conversation to be more fact-based, more rigorous.

We felt that news readers could use this type of resource to discover new sources of information, and we wanted people in the field of online journalism to have a resource through which they could look at what other sites were doing around the country and compare, contrast, do research, get ideas, hear war stories, etc.’” Source: 10,000 Words

#wjchat

January 27, 2012 in Community, Craft, Education, Resources

#wjchat is a chat for web journalists on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. PDT. We talk about all things content, technology, ethics, & business of journalism on the web.” Source: @wjchat

 

What it is: Web Journalism Chat is a weekly chat around topics facing the online journalism world. Topics range from digital news design, to community engagement, to radical newsroom culture reinvention. Each week is a different topic and there’s always lots to learn.

How to get involved: Wednesdays at 5pm PST (8pm EST), get on Twitter and search for the hashtag #wjchat. Respond to the questions, submit your own questions, and walk away from the two hours knowing something new. If you think you’d be a good host for the chat, get in touch with Robert Hernandez.

Why you should do it: It’s a free way to tap into the collective minds of…bright web journalists on Twitter. It’s not often that there are so many people in the industry on Twitter at the same time watching the same hashtag…” Source: 10,000 Words

 

Crowdmap

January 27, 2012 in Community, Craft, Resources, Technology

Ordinary people have a voice, and interesting things happen when you aggregate those voices and visualize the results. Surprising information and insights can be found.

Crowdmap is a tool that allows you to crowdsource information and see it on a map and timeline. It is the Ushahidi platform, built by the team who created Ushahidi as a way for anyone to run their own crowdsourcing site without having to know the intricacies of running their own server. It’s free and it’s yours to use.” Source: Crowdmap

 

“Digging Out DC (With Help From Kenya)

Ushahidi (Swahili for “testimony”) proved to be the Zelig of 2010 disasters. A social-media application built in Kenya to let citizens alert each other to election unrest, Ushahidi also played a crucial role in mapping the oil spill and the Haiti quake. Ushahidi even helped Washington DC dig itself out from its Snowpocalypse of 2010. The capital, lying more than 50 miles below the Mason Dixon line, didn’t quite know what to do when several feet of snow blanketed the city. But Ushahidi, which is open-source and free to use, was adapted to let Washingtonians record the locations of downed trees, clogged streets, and shoveling squads. Crowdsourced data may be imperfect, but in a crisis—or in a snow-smothered Southern city—it can provide a lot of useful information, fast.” Source: The Atlantic

On The Media

January 27, 2012 in Community, Craft, Education, Policy, Resources

While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, OTM tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of its audience in five years.

Since OTM was re-launched in 2001, it has been one of NPR’s fastest growing programs, heard on more than 300 public radio stations. It has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and a Peabody Award for its body of work.” Source: On The Media

 

“On the Media is our effort to function as the outsider’s insider. In other words, all of us who work on the show are journalists. But I guess there is something in our collective natures that makes us feel somewhat outside the process, despite the years we may have spent within it.

So we hope that we can demystify the process…

It’s always interesting to cover your own business, but the beat lacks something that is really, really important for reporters like me who like narrative. There’s no story. What you are reporting on are trends, policies, perceptions, and studies. Where are the people? Where is the blood? What are the stakes?

Well there ARE stakes and that is something that we try to focus on a lot, what the stakes are – the continued health of an honest and independent press.” Source: Gothamist

New Voices: What Works

January 12, 2012 in Community, Craft, Distribution, Education, Experiments, Resources, Revenue, Technology

Through 2010, J-Lab’s New Voices grants have been awarded to 55 local news projects from a pool of 1,433 applicants. All were required either to have nonprofit status or a fiscal agent. This report examines the outcomes of the 46 projects that were launched with New Voices funding from mid-2005 through mid-2010…

Simply put, we examined what worked and what didn’t, what made for robust sites or led to disappointment. We offer tips to help other startups and recommendations for Knight and other foundations based on what J-Lab has learned in mentoring these startups.” Source: J-Lab publications – New Voices: What Works

New America Media

December 29, 2011 in Community, Craft, Distribution, Resources

New America Media is the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media, the fastest growing sector of American journalism…

NAM produces, aggregates and disseminates multimedia content and services for and from the youth and ethnic media sectors. NAM has developed these pathways to achieve our goals:

GROW A COLLECTIVE presence for the more than 3,000 ethnic news outlets nationwide and professionalize the sector through the following:

  • Awards and EXPOs
  • Journalism school partnerships
  • Newsmaker briefings
  • Seminars and workshops for professional development
  • National Directory of Ethnic Media
  • Newsletters – editorial and marketing…

BRING THE VOICES of otherwise invisible communities – ethnic minorities, immigrants, young people – into national and regional focus through multi-lingual and cell phone polls. Some of our most recent polls that made headlines nationwide:

  • Deep Divisions, Shared Destiny – A Poll of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans on Race Relations
  • Historic Poll of Undocumented Immigrants From Latin America
  • California Dreamers: A public opinion portrait of the most diverse generation the nation has known…

ENHANCE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT programs that produce peer-to-peer youth media and inter-generational dialogue through ethnic and mainstream media. Youth media content from YO! Youth Outlook, YO! TV, Silicon Valley De-Bug, The Beat Within, Sprawl Magazine, Roaddawgz and The Know provides a window into youth culture.

DEVELOP AND PROMOTE social marketing and corporate messaging campaigns that expand the sector’s access to advertising. NAM has channeled over $13 million in advertising dollars to ethnic media from HUD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flex Your Power, The California Endowment, California’s Administrative Office of the Courts, and Kaiser Permanente.” Source: New America Media

Investigative Reporters and Editors

December 16, 2011 in Community, Education, Resources, Technology

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, news gathering techniques and news sources. IRE provides members access to thousands of reporting tip sheets and other materials through its resource center and hosts conferences and specialized training throughout the country.” Source: Investigative Reporters and Editors

IRE’s programs and projects

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting

“Founded in 1989, NICAR has trained thousands of journalists in the practical skills of finding, prying loose and analyzing electronic information.

NICAR also maintains a library of databases containing government data on a wide array of subjects, including airplane service difficulty reports, storm events, FBI crime data, fatal highway accidents, problems with medical devices and federal contracts awarded to private companies. This is just a short list of the more than 40 datasets in the collection.” Source: IRE

 

CensusIRE

“[IRE’s] ongoing Census project [is] designed to provide journalists with a simpler way to access 2010 Census data so they can spend less time importing and managing the data and more time exploring and reporting the data. The project is the result of work by journalists from the The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, funded through generous support from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.” Source: CensusIRE

 

DocumentCloud

“DocumentCloud is a project that uses collaborative methods to host and organize primary-source documents … The project is a software system, website, and set of open standards intended as a tool for investigative reporting, and only news organizations, bloggers and watchdog groups can upload documents there. Its 200-plus contributors include many news organizations as well as other groups such as the ACLU, National Security Archive and Sunlight Foundation. DocumentCloud’s software, however, is open-source, and anyone can view the documents … DocumentCloud’s technology has been used on the websites of such news organizations as PBS, ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune to allow readers to search annotated copies of source documents.” Source: Encyclo

“DocumentCloud was founded in 2009 with a grant from the Knight News Challenge. After two years as an independent nonprofit organization, DocumentCloud became a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors in June of 2011.” Source: DocumentCloud

 

Nieman Journalism Lab

December 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Distribution, Education, Experiments, Resources, Revenue, Technology

The Nieman Journalism Lab is an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age.The Internet has brought forth an unprecedented flowering of news and information. But it has also destabilized the old business models that have supported quality journalism for decades. Good journalists across the country are losing their jobs or adjusting to a radically new news environment online. We want to highlight attempts at innovation and figure out what makes them succeed or fail. We want to find good ideas for others to steal. We want to help reporters and editors adjust to their online labors; we want to help traditional news organizations find a way to survive; we want to help the new crop of startups that will complement — or supplant — them.

We are fundamentally optimistic.

We don’t pretend to have even five percent of all the answers, but we do know a lot of smart people. Primary among them are our readers; we hope your contributions will make the Lab a collaborative exchange of ideas. Tell us what’s happening around you, or what should be.

We hope you enjoy the work we do, and that you’ll join the conversation as it evolves.” Source: Nieman Journalism Lab

 

Nieman Journalism Lab projects:

Encyclo

“[Nieman Lab’s] main site emphasizes new developments and the latest news. We think there’s great value in a resource that steps back a bit from the daily updates and focuses on background and context.What is it about Voice of San Diego that people find interesting? How has The New York Times been innovating? What model is Politico trying to achieve? Those kinds of questions are why we decided to build Encyclo — a resource on the most important organizations and issues in journalism’s evolution.” Source: Encyclo

 

Fuego

“Fuego is a tool that monitors the portion of the Twitterverse that talks about the future of journalism and sees what they’re talking about. Every hour, it pulls in the links they’re discussing, analyzes them for popularity and freshness, does a little math, and determines which are at the center of the conversation.” Source: Fuego