Newspapers Go Nonprofit

By Flickr user allaboutgeorge (Creative Commons)

We all know that traditional print media companies are converting to online and new media formats as fast as they can. But did you know that news services are also converting to the nonprofit sector in larger and larger numbers?

Of course, nonprofit and independent publications, radio stations, and websites have been around for a while. But only recently has the nonprofit model come to be seriously considered as the future of the whole newspaper industry. The nonprofit news model is appealing because it allows journalists to cover the stories they think are important, rather than the ones that will have the most shock value and gain the most clicks and advertising revenue.

If you want to know more about how nonprofit news sites are run, check out this introduction and archived online chat with Andrew Donahue, the editor of Voice of San Diego. He explains that “In nonprofit funds, foundations enjoy funding specific projects or themes (science or environmental reporting in general), or a project on community successes. However, funders don’t have special access to reporters, don’t control what stories get written and don’t say how the stories are written.”

For examples of thriving nonprofit news sites, look at MinnPost, New Haven Independent, ProPublica, and Voice of San Diego. The Bay Area News Project and the Texas Tribune are about to launch and add themselves to the mix.

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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