As newspaper advertising and paywall revenue continues to fall, more newspapers look to local grants to fund community journalism.
Mimicking the model Sharon Chan pioneered originally at The Seattle Times, newspaper chains like McClatchy look to local philanthropists and foundations for the kinds of funding needed to produce high-quality, local journalism.
“We know that by doing work the community values, we can find a way forward,” Lauren Gustus, McClatchy regional editor, optimistically said.
In 2020, McClatchy plans to launch upwards of 10 community-funded journalism labs—the recently launched Fresno Bee’s Education Lab, is just one example.
“These new labs could potentially help bolster local journalism in a third of McClatchy’s newsrooms…” said Gustus, as she passionately fights to bring more value to the community through locally-funded journalism.
According to Mark Glaser, contributing writer at the Knight Foundation, there must be a change in viewpoint, in order to activate the cultural shift of ‘giving’ to fund local news.
This view point is “understanding the importance of having a reporter keeping an eye on city hall, on corrupt police, on shady business practices.
“Then, local news goes from being a profit machine for media companies (and hedge funds) to being a public good, a civic service for the community that everyone must support,” said Glaser.
According to Dan Jones, CEO of NorthAmericaTalk, “As more groups utilize a grant-funded model, the grant recipients will broaden, and thus create new challenges for community media sustainability.
Time will tell of the viability of the grant-funded model, NorthAmericaTalk recognizes the importance of people like Lauren Gustus who passionately fight to bring value to the community, and find a way forward for local news.
NorthAmericaTalk is a digital media company building and operating Community Social Networks™ . Through our proprietary technology and sales tools, we are disrupting the media landscape, while building a trusted, valuable, local media brand. Today, our media organizations cover an audience of 5,100,000 neighbors in Washington and Oregon State. Our fast-growing, community focused media companies span the Pacific Northwest. We count hundreds of marketers as long-term customers that use our platform to reach their target market, grow their brand, and measure results.