Archive | January 2015

Nonprofit Media Monday

Mark your calendars for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. After digesting your turkey feast and bargain-shopping for your must-have gifts on Black Friday, make sure finish your shopping  by patronizing your small, local brick and mortar stores on Small Business Saturday.

Why not a movement for small and local nonprofit news? Nonprofit Media Mondayeverything-15-or-less-198503-m, anyone?

However, nonprofit news may not need a kickstart. Hundreds of nonprofit news organizations have sprouted up nationally and globally. Kevin Davis of the Investigative News Network predicts good news ahead for nonprofit news organizations in 2015. There are many success stories for nonprofit news organizations. Nonprofit newsrooms also enjoy lower cost and easier maintenance overall.

Michele McClellan of the Reynolds Journalism Institute keeps track of the growing number of local news sites. What better site to take a look at than a budding independent and nonprofit news web site in Phoenix, Arizona!

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting is focused on accountable political investigative journalism in Arizona. The website is dichromatic (nothing fancy), but easy to navigate. After all, AZCIR focuses on hard, fact-finding investigative journalism not graphic design. AZCIR’s audience – those interested in investigative journalism like other journalists and policymakers – accept the lack of dynamic content for the meat of the investigative pieces.

A post at the top of the page was uploaded as recently as last Friday, January 23, which is appropriate for a website with one reporter and a handful of faithful contributors. Posts seem to be added every few weeks, which allows the piece to be thoroughly fact-checked and have multiple edits. The finished piece is well-written and professional reading. However, there is no place for user discussion or user-generated content. Nonetheless, AZCIR has a creative commons license, which allows readers to use the material with a few qualifications.

To produce this product, AZCIR asks for readers to donate to the center, which also accepts foundation support. The fundraising policy of the site outlines the center’s policy for donations and foundational support. This is a new, successful business model to fill the needs of the community.

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Bring on the change

We have to change what we’re doing right now before it’s too late.

That seems to be a common refrain today with fears of climate change and religious extremism highlighted by recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the rise of ISIS, or ISIL, in northern Iraq and Syria. Let’s not also forget the recent police shootings that have sparked a wave of debate about police brutality and race.

Static ScreenIn the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks and the police shootings, protestors took to the streets in mass to demand change. Numbers in the thousands in Paris called for an end to religious extremism and renewal of peaceful tolerance and coexistence among religions. Protestors in major cities across the United States demanded an overhaul of a government that they find to be racially prejudicial at multiple levels.

Change is in the air. And change is not a bad thing at all, especially for journalism. From consumption and distribution to publication and digestion, media is changing with the times. Carlo De Marchis, a media strategist with a global sports business, outlines these critical changes to media. He encourages media businesses to embrace these changes and use them to their advantage. With smartphones, tablets, computers and even digital watches on market, consumers are even more connected today. The media also has a more direct line to the consumer, which helps with funding content.

With a rise in multiple platforms, there is also a increase in media consumption. As Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger.com, presents in his TEDx talk, the amount of media consumption is increasing at a steady rate. He predicts that by 2036, consumers will be viewing media content 24/7, which can be good or bad. It’s good if the content is informative and helping to create a better society. However, it is a very real possibility that consumers will choose the memes of Cheezburger.com and six second videos from Vine over the more enriching content.