August 8, 2018; Poynter
In the first in a series on how newsrooms are sourcing revenue, Poynter explores how five foundations came to support the nonprofit, digital-only, nonpartisan watchdog news outlet, the Connecticut Mirror. CT Mirror focuses on public policy and political issues in the state, and with 10 full- and part-time staff is the only Connecticut news organization with a full-time reporter in Washington, DC. CT Mirror shares office space and collaborates with Connecticut Public Broadcasting, particularly WNPR public radio, and is no stranger to fundraising success.
NPQ regularly examines nonprofit journalism business models—you can see some of our coverage here, here, and here. We just reported on the expansion of the Facebook Journalism Project. Since the diminution of newsrooms began years ago, especially at the local level, nonprofit journalism is increasingly needed to hold those in power to account and to offer those without power a voice in the public square.
Foundations are starting to work together to support journalism, said Teresa Gorman, a local news associate at Democracy Fund. (Disclosure: Democracy Fund is a funder of Poynter.)
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“But there’s potential for much more and to use collaboration as a way to get more funders into funding journalism,” she said.
In addition to offering advice on how to approach prospective foundation donors, the Poynter article describes how CT Mirror is using its new grants to produce a series on the state’s growing gap between Connecticut’s richest and poorest citizens, a series on how the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis is impacting social service organizations, and to produce community conversations.
The following list of resources, sourced by Poynter writer Kristen Hare, is recommended for those working or contemplating working in the nonprofit journalism space.
Visit Local News Lab’s “Unlocking the secrets to foundation funding,” these case studies on innovative funding from the Shorenstein Center, and this look at journalism and grants from Media Impact Funders. Also, here’s another list of great local newsletters to subscribe to: Democracy Fund’s Local Fix, Lenfest’s Solution Set, IRE’s Local Matters, CJR’s Colorado Local News and Media, LION Publishers (on the right side of the homepage), Gather, and Membership Puzzle Project.