Making Investigative Journalism Sustainable: Ross Settles

As part of GIJN’s new series, Making Investigative Journalism Sustainable: Best Business Practices, we are featuring a set of key tips from 10 leading journalists and experts from around the world who are either working to build viable organizations around investigative journalism or work as experts to support these enterprises. Here is Ross Settles, Adjunct Professor of Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Hong Kong University

See videos from all 10 experts here. Also, check GIJN’s Resource Center sections on sustainability and fundraising to find useful tips and tools, and case studies on all the issues and more covered here. GIJN will continue to expand its work in this area and we welcome suggestions, feedback, and support. Please contact us at hello@gijn.org.

What is the Commercial Model for Investigative Media?

Journalism has been mired in an economic crisis for years, prompting journalists to find new models of funding, and to experiment, innovate, and learn from one another. Some nonprofit organizations are raising funds through a range of commercial activities. GIJN’s latest Resource Center addition, written by Ross Settles from the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the Hong Kong University, is designed to help journalists navigate the complex field of commercial revenue.

How to Evaluate Commercial Revenue as a Sustainability Strategy for Investigative Media Organizations

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Introduction: The Three Main Commercial Revenue Strategies
Nonprofit investigative journalism organizations are increasingly borrowing strategies from larger commercial publishers to supplement their grant funding and to extend their impact. While membership and subscription strategies are focused on your consumers, commercial revenue strategies mean making deals with other institutions. There are three broad categories of commercial revenue strategies, each defined by what is being sold. Advertising: Selling marketers and advertising agencies access to your audience. Syndication: Selling other publishers access to your reporting or other internal data/information.

Engagement or Reach: How To Best Find Our Audience

At a recent meeting of the Institute for Nonprofit News – for my sins, I now sit on INN’s board – we learned an interesting statistic: About half the organization’s members have a strategy to drive readers to their own sites/destinations, and the other half count on distributing their content via other platforms. Does it matter how we reach readers? And should we care?