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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