‘Investigating Power’ Highlights Moments that Defined Independent Journalism

The Pulitzer season is a time for inspiration and reflection. Inspiration because those and other awards each year remind us of how important public service reporting is, and that American news outlets — even those struggling financially — continue to do it. A case in point is The Philadelphia Inquirer, which just won the Gold Medal for its series about violence in the city’s schools. In Alabama, the Tuscaloosa News staff didn’t let a power outage stop them from covering a deadly tornado, publishing from another plant 50 miles away, and online. The awards also remind us that age and experience are not always prerequisites to powerful truth-telling.

Knight Foundation Promotes Donor Transparency in Digital Media

The Knight Foundation has announced a new policy to promote donor transparency in digital media. It will require the foundation’s media grantees to disclose major donors, in recognition of transparency’s “core value in the digital age,” according to the foundation. The policy applies to new grants in journalism and media. “As media demand a more open society, society is demanding a more open media,” Knight Foundation’s Michael Maness said. The requirement states that donations of more than $5,000 to Knight-funded projects must be disclosed on the organization’s website.

Digital Trends from the State of the News Media Report

Every year, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism captures a snapshot of the media climate. The Hub reviewed the State of the News Media 2012 report and identified the following digital trends that can impact the news start-up or news venture. Online news consumption trends
According to the Pew report, online traffic to news sites continues to grow as more people flock to the Internet for information and news. In particular, the report highlighted the growing number of news consumers who own multiple devices and use those devices to get news. As of January 2012, 44% of adults own smartphones and 31% of smartphone users also own a tablet.

Trends to Watch in 2012 – Spotted at SXSW

The SXSW Interactive Festival was in full swing this weekend in Austin, Texas as thousands of movers and shakers from the digital industry came to check out the latest trends in the digital media industry. Each year the Interactive Festival features panels covering a variety of topics including gaming, design, UX, coding, data visualizations, entrepreneurialism and more. Here are five trends the Hub spotted at this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival that journalism ventures and start-ups should take note of. 1.Gesture-based computing: The mobile phone and the tablet are creating new experiences for the end user with touch-based features. Several media organizations are now experimenting with the best ways to offer up an optimal experience that focuses on gesture-based computing.

The Patterson Foundation’s Janet Coats on Funding Journalism Startups

Earlier this month, the Patterson Foundation’s New Media Journalism Initiative Manager Janet Coats and INN’s CEO Kevin Davis organized a meeting of funders and network organizations to discuss financial sustainability for journalism startups. Read Coats’ full report from the meeting. In an interview with INN, Coats discusses the impetus behind the meeting, what was learned, and what comes next. INN: What were you hoping to accomplish with this meeting of funders and publishers? Coats: At minimum, we saw an opportunity to cross-pollinate the conversation about sustaining independent journalism and I think Kevin and I are uniquely positioned in many respects — we hear from both funders and from publishers about their issues and concerns. But there haven’t been many opportunities for deep conversation between these two constituencies about what publishers really need and what funders are really in a position to provide.

Patterson Foundation and INN Discuss Nonprofit and Independent News Funding Needs

Financial Sustainability Workshop: A meeting for Funders and Publishers
Organized by The Patterson Foundation and the Investigative News Network
In December, The Patterson Foundation and the Investigative News Network invited representatives from national foundations that have been supporting independent and nonprofit journalism to participate in a February conversation about financial sustainability for journalism’s startups. The idea for this meeting grew out of a relatively new connection between Kevin Davis, INN executive director, and Janet Coats, new media journalism initiative manager for The Patterson Foundation. Janet was working on TPF’s behalf to launch an experimental, high-intensity business mentoring program for community news publishers called Super Camp. Kevin was incubating an idea for a similar program for INN members. Quickly realizing that they were circling the same idea, they began to share their thoughts about how such a program could work, and what else might be possible to help independent news sites not just survive but thrive.