ByLisa Williams, Director of Revenue; General Manager, Impaq.Me |
Mary Walter-Brown, head of advancement for the Voice of San Diego, spoke to news entrepreneurs at CJET on the nuts and bolts of building a membership program to support an independent journalism organization. “At the bare minimum, I encourage you to do reader surveys — we did them through SurveyMonkey and it was very easy to administrate,” Walter-Brown says. “But break the target audience for your survey into segments.” Walter-Brown says Voice of San Diego broke survey respondents into groups — people who had given the site money and those who hadn’t; people who were subscribers to the organization’s email list, and then for readers who engaged with specific beats, like the arts. “We asked what devices they used.
Funded by Knight Foundation, the event will be hosted at the Knight Digital Media Center at USC Annenberg, October 18 – 20, 2012. Los Angeles, Calif. – Community news publishers will get expert help tackling business and market challenges through an executive training program from the Investigative News Network (INN). The Community Journalism Executive Training (CJET) program, to be held October 18 – 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. and hosted at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, is made possible by support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The $100,000 grant allows INN to produce the program and fund attendance for 40 executives from journalism producers around the country.
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.
Running a nonprofit news organization is tricky business. While the ventures aren’t in it to make money, raising enough of it to achieve the ever-illusive “sustainability” is a constant concern. Today, the Knight Foundation released its report on a year-long sustainability study detailing how a group of successful nonprofit digital newsrooms are engaging audiences and diversifying revenue. Mayur Patel and Michelle McLellan examined eight nonprofit digital news organizations, half of which are INN members:
Voice of San Diego
St. Louis Beacon
New Haven Independent
The report, “Getting Local,” focused on the economic viability, business strategy, social impact and adaptability and capacity of nonprofit ventures.
The inaugural CEO of the newly-formed Investigative News Network, Kevin Davis, spoke this month at a gathering at the University of Southern California about “pioneering new economic models to help to monetize the shared, combined content of the member organizations, in order to achieve a more sustainable journalism.”