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Thirty Minutes on Nonprofit News Sustainability

"We're going to do it American Idol style," says Kevin Davis in this video of a session at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference on nonprofit news business models, "I'll present what we've learned, and you critique it, from a global perspective." Want to hear more?  See the complete video here. Continue Reading →

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VIDEO: Google Hangout Conversation Between INN Members & Knight Foundation On Nonprofit News Sustainability

Today INN hosted a Google Hangout with representatives of the Knight Foundation on the topic of nonprofit news sustainability with the authors of Knight's recent report, "Finding a Foothold: How Nonprofit News Organizations Seek Sustainability." The report gives readers a deep dive into 18 nonprofit news organizations, how they bring in money to support their work, and how that's changed over time. Key questions addressed during this conversation include:

What's the right mix when it comes to devoting resources toward core editorial functions and efforts like marketing and fundraising? What are the most common ways news nonprofits create earned revenue? What doesn't work? Continue Reading →

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Nonprofit or not, investigative news organizations are still businesses

INN executive director Kevin Davis weighed in on the recent study on revenue sources for nonprofit newsrooms on the Knight Blog:

“Finding a Foothold” validated what we here at the Investigative News Network have been preaching for sometime: that nonprofit newsrooms are first and foremost mission-driven businesses. While nonprofits are traditionally thought of as “charitable organizations,” this report correctly underscores that successful nonprofits must develop multiple revenue streams that are consistent with their mission.  Continue Reading →

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How independent news organizations can build sales

Eleanor Cippel of EW Scripps

Eleanor Cippel, Corporate Managing Director of Sales, Business Development and Operations for EW Scripps today addressed participants of CJET, a training and mentoring program for news startups. "It's incredibly important to know your identity as a business," says Cippel. "You should have a very clear message both internally and externally -- and that should help you develop an elevator pitch that expresses what your unique value proposition is." This applies to for-profits and nonprofits, says Cippel. "Unless someone is walking by with a tray floating you money, you have to ask people for money, and to do that you have to understand what your value is." Continue Reading →

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How can news organizations assess impact and engagement?

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Lauren Fuhrmann of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism spoke to CJET, an event where independent investigative and community news organizations can gain business development and strategic planning skills to make their organization sustainable in the long term. Continue Reading →

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How News Startups Can Convert Readers To Members

Mary Walter-Smith, head of Voice of San Diego's membership operations

 

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. Continue Reading →

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News Startups Accelerate at CJET

Lila LaHood, Publisher, SF Public Press, presenting at CJET

Over the next two days, a select group of investigative and community news startups will gather together to work out step-by-step plans to make their organization thrive for years to come.  CJET helps the people who drive new online news organizations build business skills and work out a plan that will bring them to financial sustainability. Continue Reading →

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What is the “secret sauce” of online news sustainability?

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Michele McLellan started out with a list -- "Michele's List," which counted online news sites that had "journalistic DNA."  As a fellow at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, she focused on these sites -- how many of them were there, and how many of them would survive? Today at CJET (Community Journalism Executive Training) in Santa Barbara, she presented her new research to independent online news publishers who were taking part in business training aimed at creating sustainable journalism organizations. "I think I'm going to be a little 'tough love' with you guys," she said. "The love piece is that you folks are just doing amazing work and the passion and energy you put into your work is something I'm in awe of. Continue Reading →

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Recruiting Strategies to Find a Great Hire

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Finding the right person to join your news organization can be a challenge. The recruiting and hiring process can be lengthy but if you take the right steps, it can make all the difference when you have that great staff member join your team. This week I will be sharing tips on how to find that great hire. Define What the Position is and What it is Not

First, you have to identify what are the responsibilities of the individual you are seeking to add to your team. Don’t get wrapped up in titles just yet as the actual tasks of what you want that person to do are the most important. Continue Reading →

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For Florida news nonprofit, data journalism pays bills

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A funny thing happened on the way to sustainability for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Specifically — data journalism, and selling the Center's expertise to major news clients, such as the Miami Herald, and local NBC and NPR affiliates, that lack the staffing and expertise to really crunch the numbers. Continue Reading →

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