Monday, February 16, 2009

Weaker Prospect of Endowed Watchdog Newspapers Results from a Lack of Will

DMIblogger Karin Dryhurst points out that newspaper owners won't consider making their publications non-profit not because the endowment model has been tried and failed, but because they continue to reach for different business models in the for-profit world.

A local case of reaching:  the Nashville Scene, which continues to abdicate any pretense of being a watchdog in order to compete in the social media market. So, now the reporters are blogging more (while they taunt bloggers for blogging), and now staffers are getting paid to play with Photoshop (nice work if you can get it). We'll see if it all amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Here is an independent non-profit that serves the San Diego community. An LA Times columnist writes that the Voice of San Diego is on the cutting edge of the new newsroom:
A local news site can flourish on charitable donations. It helps to have one big benefactor to get things started. It makes more sense to cover a few topics well, rather than a lot poorly.
It seems to me that the idea of an endowed, independent media is an underestimated niche, given the growth of possible foundation money that could occur in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the definitive post on this issue over at First Draft back in January. The truth of the matter is, corporate media dinosaurs like Gannett are a bunch of greedy profiteers who, as Athenae wrote, are largely
    "making .. a FUCKTON of money."

    Saying print media isn't profitable is wrong. Saying it isn't profitable enough for the greedy bastards at Gannett is more accurate.