Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'Wild Experimentation' in the local news scene

Christin Evans, owner of Booksmith in San Francisco, describes in a Huffington Post piece a panel discussion she moderated that included journalists who are attempting to reshape the business with new business models. The panelists were The Bay Citizen's Lisa Frazier, SF Public Press' Micahel Stoll, Mission Local's Lydia Chavez.
    All three said their news organization had not yet reached sustainability. They all described foundation and citizen donations, or "the NPR model" of news underwriting through sponsorship, as their aim. 
    Lisa Frazier disclosed the initial endowment of $5 million dollars the Bay Citizen received from Warren Hellman as a "tremendous gift" that has allowed her organization to fund its start-up costs, hire 26 journalists "at market rates" and develop a plan to reach sustainability in 5 years. ... 
    Today, the news stories they report are distributed online on their website. Lisa Frazier said that approximately 25% to 30% of people are getting their news from friends posts on Facebook and Twitter and that online is the first place to be. 
    But all three have news stories which have gone to print. Many of the Bay Citizen's stories are printed on Friday's and Sunday's in the Bay Area Report section of the New York Times. Mission Local recently printed copies of their top stories half in English, half in Spanish. And, Michael Stoll said that Public Press had just broken even with their first print edition which is sold for $2 at independent bookstores around the city and that they plan to print quarterly with their next issue in the fall.

No comments: