March 31, 2017
Local Fix: $12 Million in Grants, Creative Agencies, and News Revenue
Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. But first, we are going to start with a bit of news…
This week Democracy Fund and First Look Media announced $12 million in new grants to support press freedom, investigative reporting and local news. “At the Democracy Fund, we believe that a robust free press is essential. We must not take it for granted,” our president Joe Goldman wrote earlier this week. The grants include support for investigative newsrooms and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press as well as:
- $1 million towards the establishment of a new fund for state and local investigative journalism. We’re inviting other foundations and donors to contribute and collaborate.
- Support for The Membership Puzzle Project which will help develop and spread best practices for fostering community-supported news and information.
We are deeply grateful for the work all of you do to serve your communities and hold power to account. These announcements build on our ongoing efforts to support and strengthen local news ecosystems, expand engaged journalism, and foster more inclusive newsrooms. If you have any questions or want to let us know about the work you are doing, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Now back to regularly scheduled programming….
The Creative Agency Model for Newsroom Revenue
- How Bustle, Atlantic Media are expanding their agency services – DigiDay
- Can small community newspapers successfully launch digital ad agencies? – Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media
- About 80 percent of WhereBy.Us’s revenue comes from creative agency work that uses the company’s data, research, and expertise to understand the local market – NiemanLab
- The rise of the digital services agency as a revenue source for local news publishers – WAN-IFRA
- Gimlet Creative, an early entrant to branded podcasting, is open for business – Poynter
Platforms and Publishers: It’s Complicated (still)
In the ongoing debate over how social media platforms are reshaping journalism this week brought an important new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. In “The Platform Press” Emily Bell and Tayler Owen chart “the convergence between journalism and platform companies,” and explore how we can maintain and strengthen independent journalism in the future. We’ve included a series of other recent pieces that approach similar questions from different perspectives.
- The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley reengineered journalism – Tow Center for Digital Journalism
- The Facebook Papers: A series by former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile – Part One, Two, Three, and Four.
- Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear – danah boyd
Local News Lab Link of the Week
Our site is full of practical advice, tools and tips. This week, we recommend lessons from the launch of the News Revenue Hub by Jason Alcorn. There are a lot of great ideas for how newsrooms can strengthen their membership programs and expand community support for their work. Send us your feedback and ideas for other resources that you would find useful on the Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a good weekend
Josh and Teresa
The Local Fix is a project of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which invests in innovations and institutions that are reinventing local media and expanding the public square. Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund, you can find a full list of the organizations we support on our website.