Building a sustainable business model for local journalism
This site is dedicated to work and conversation about the future of local journalism and how we can earn revenue from it.
Over the past 10 long years industry insiders, and outsiders, have asked the same pestering questions: Can anyone save journalism? How will someone do it? What will it look like?
While print journalism and newspapers aren’t dead, subscriptions in the U.S. dropped almost 9 percent in 2009, and, as a recent Pew Research Center study shows, an increasing number of people turn to the Internet to get their news. Along with the recession’s adverse affects on advertising at major print corporations, these trends of increasing Internet usage and a diminishing of traditional advertising revenues give news startups a chance to challenge local news media to create a sustainable method of supporting the expense of conducting journalism in the public interest.
It’s a new frontier and one where there are no blueprints and lots of opinions. How can upstarts compete with comparatively well-financed mainstream publications? Newcomers must use a variety of web tools, create diversified revenue streams and attract an engaged community, experts say.
Experts and editors from a myriad of publications pointed to three areas that news sites need to check off in order to compete – 1) integrate multiple revenue models into its business, 2) establish local social media networks that bring communities together to interact, and 3) utilize cutting-edge web tools that allow for better story-telling. Finally, the capstone puts together the reporting on these three to suggest a sustainable – and profitable – business plan.