An intelligent piece by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson that looks at the realities of running a non-profit journalism venture, in this instance ProPublica.
Despite its Pulitzer Prize win, the site still needs the leverage afforded by partnerships with traditional media, says editor-in-chief Paul Steiger: “[O]ne of ProPublica’s biggest stories: on its own website, it attracted 60,000 page views. But on its partner newspaper’s site it was read 1.1m times.”
Yet business models being tested by other for-profit media may not fit the bill for a non-profit news organisation:
In spite of others’ hopes for “tip jar” models, donations from readers have so far been small. An appeal after ProPublica’s Pulitzer win only paid for the celebratory champagne.
Mr Steiger says the online subscription experiments being launched from News International to the New York Times hold little appeal. “We want our stuff to have an impact. It seems a little counterproductive to say ‘pay us’.”
- ProPublica editor-in-chief on a changed world: ‘Investigative reporting in the web era’
- ProPublica figures reveal several half a million dollar salaries
- #news2011: ProPublica model ‘not feasible’ as commercial venture, says editor-in-chief
- Nieman Journalism Lab: Questions for a ‘new class of cultural institution’
- ProPublica signs up to Press+ in bid to encourage donations