How WFAE transformed in 5 years

WFAE’s 2015 transformation aimed to adapt to the digital landscape and have its staff and audience reflect the diversity of the area. Since then, WFAE doubled its content staff, increased its digital traffic seven-fold, attracted new members and grew its general revenues. It developed new habits around audience engagement, publishing frequency, hiring and mentoring, and more.

Innovation in Public Funding for Local Journalism: A Case Study of New Jersey’s 2018 Civic Information Bill

This article explores an effort to direct state-level public funds toward journalism by using a national policy window combined with an intensive grass-roots effort. We use the lens of Kingdon’s policy process model to showcase dynamics that contribute to the media policymaking literature. The process and enactment of New Jersey’s 2018 Civic Information Consortium bill are analyzed using a combination of archival research and oral history, highlighting the efforts of policy entrepreneurs and knowledge-brokers, who served as key advocates for the bill’s passage.

Journalism is an Essential Service During the Pandemic. We Must Fund it Like One.

Over the past month, 30 states have made journalism an essential service in their disaster declarations, putting local news outlets on par with hospitals and grocery stores. It makes sense: local news is how we find out about stay at home orders and whether our nearby hospital has tests available. But there is a troubling irony to this moment: The coronavirus — while creating a need for strong local news — has ignited an economic crisis that could wipe out huge swaths of journalism in America.

Why the Civic Info Consortium is Such a Huge Deal

Date: 01/16/2020

In 2018, New Jersey created the Civic Information Consortium, a first-of-its-kind nonprofit with the mission of strengthening local-news coverage and boosting civic engagement in communities across the state. Free Press Action conceived of the Civic Info Bill, which created the consortium and is now serving as a model for other states that are seeking to give people the news and information they need.

The Journalism Industry Knows Engagement is Necessary to Survive

What are the barriers? Why is it so dang hard to just “do engagement already?” We had our hunches, but we commissioned a study to really find out. We spoke with 100 people who are already bought in — who desperately want to spend their time doing better engagement — to learn what (and who) stands in their way. Engagement is a process, not a product. The solution must start with mindset and culture change, not software

The Colorado Sun

Using funding from a successful 2018 Kickstarter campaign and support from block-chain journalism initiative Civil, the Colorado Sun is an ad-free new project. The model attempts to decentralize ownership of the newsroom in order to avoid a repeat of the recent hedge fund-mandate layoffs at the competing Denver Sun—layoffs that provided the staffing and ideological genesis for the Colorado Sun, as career journalists who had lost their jobs sought out new employment and a better, more sustainable way of reporting the news. More here, here and here.

Funding for Engagement Work

Are you looking for outside funding for your engagement work? In this 30-minute video chat, we’ll talk to Molly de Aguiar of the News Integrity Initiative, Paul Waters of Democracy Fund, and Karen Rundlet of the Knight Foundation who represent organizations that offer funding to support journalism. What do they wish journalists knew about how to find funding?