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May 19, 2017

Local Fix: Can For-Profits and Nonprofits Partner?

Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news.  Subscribe to the Fix.


But first, we always begin with one good idea...

One Good Idea: Ok, Maybe 26 Good Ideas
Last month, we worked with the Institute for Nonprofit News to collect brief case studies on 26 different projects related to how nonprofit newsrooms were engaging their communities. The collection was published this week over at INN‘s website and we’ve got an overview here. Just scrolling through the list is pretty inspiring, and we hope it helps spark new ideas for others.

What Your Readers Want

In 2015, professor Phil Napoli held a series of focus groups across New Jersey to listen to local people about what they want from local news and how they consume it. He wrote about this work for the Columbia Journalism Review. The results of the focus groups were then used to develop new revenue ideas and news products that better serve local communities. This week we are publishing his research team’s guide to hosting local news focus groups so others can build on that work. The Solutions Journalism Network has already taken his focus group model and used it in the Mountain West, and now you can adapt it to your community, too.

Can Nonprofit and For-Profit Newsrooms Work Together?

At the Collaborative Journalism Summit this month a new fund was announced to help support collaborative reporting projects. The deadline is in June so check out the call for ideas and get your creative juices flowing. At the same event we also got a sneak peak at new research from Jason Alcorn and the American Press Institute on best practices and lessons for forging strong partnerships between nonprofit and commercial newsrooms. It looks at a range of case studies and gives you a roadmap for how you can expand your capacity, tackle big stories and maybe even make money through collaboration.
Columbia Journalism Review’s Big Issue on Local News
The Columbia Journalism Review just dedicated a full issue to big questions around the future of local news, featuring a range of perspectives and stories about the past and future of local reporting. Below we wanted to feature a few of those pieces. (Disclosure: Democracy Fund funds some of CJR’s coverage of local news).
Have a good weekend,
Josh and Teresa
@jcstearns, @gteresaThe 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.