A project of Democracy Fund

February 4, 2022

Local Fix: Building a culture of financial collaboration

Welcome to the Local Fix. Every other week we look at key questions in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. But first, we always begin with one good idea…

One Good Idea: Rethink the editorial board

The Connecticut Mirror just launched its first community editorial board, an effort to amplify more representative perspectives in the Mirror’s webpages. The 12 people on the board this year (selected from 100 applicants!) includes residents of five of Connecticut’s eight counties and perspectives from Black, South American, Malayalee American, Asian, Pakistani-American, mixed, Latino, and white lived experiences. The Mirror worked with Free Press and was inspired in part by the Long Beach Post’s community editorial board to develop this group. With the guidance of editor Mercy A. Quaye, members will publish essays in the Mirror’s opinion section.

What we’re seeing in business collaborations

“The field is starting to see a different type of collaboration emerge, especially at the local level,” Gonzalo del Peon wrote at the end of 2020, “Collaborations centered on local news organizations’ business sides [are growing], focused on the development and strengthening of revenue streams and operations capacity — all with a goal of building more robust and sustainable local news ecosystems that are ultimately better able to meet communities’ information needs for the long-term future.” 

This is a real you-love-to-see-it moment. Gonzalo shouted out CoastAlaska, the Chicago Independent Media Alliance, and the Neighborhood & Community Media Association of Greater Cleveland. A little over a year since that prediction, we are seeing more and more examples of ways outlets are working together in this way. In New Jersey small news publishers collaborated on selling ads to local businesses with the help of one shared sales representative. Today there are many more, just as Gonzalo predicted.

What are other new ways you’re seeing news outlets work together on their businesses? Reply and let us know.

Reads on Our Radar

Opportunities on Our Radar

Wishing you a happy year of the tiger,

Christine and Teresa
@heres_christine and @gteresa

P.S. We’re psyched for this webinar on February 15 from Local That Works. Rashad Mahmood from the New Mexico Local News Fund and Stefanie Murray from the Center for Cooperative Media in New Jersey will talk about building statewide local news ecosystems. See you there?

The Local Fix is a project of  Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which supports work that aims to transform journalism so everyone has access to information they need to participate in our democracy. The Fix was started by Josh Stearns and Molly de Aguiar.

Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund. You can find a full list of the organizations here.
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