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44 posts
reader support sustainability journalism Mother Jones nonprofit


How Mother Jones Uses Reader Support to Fund Investigative Journalism

Mother Jones is a US outlet known for “smart, fearless journalism.” Monika Bauerlein, its CEO, believes that the kind of investigative journalism they do cannot be funded by traditional commercial means. That’s why it operates as a nonprofit with a heavy focus on reader donations as a revenue stream.

News & Analysis Press Freedom Sustainability

How Can We Build a New Future for Journalism That Belongs to All of Us?

Because of growing threats to democracy, and a recent series of ever more extreme societal and planetary crises, funders now see more clearly the pivotal, central role that independent public interest media play in keeping our societies and economies open. And what’s even more encouraging is to see this positive talk backed up with concrete measures and actions.

Case Studies Sustainability

10 Tips for Founding a Successful Investigative Startup

Veteran Mexican journalist Alejandra Xanic shares the lessons she learned in setting up an investigative nonprofit, from how to move beyond prioritizing survival to the importance of administrative support.


How Independent Journalism Is Filling Gaps in the European Media Landscape

A new generation of intrepid news organizations is rising across Europe – one that is strongly committed to serving its audience and democracy alike through public interest journalism. A new report by Netzwerk Recherche outlines this emerging innovative media scene and takes a closer look at how this New Sector reclaims journalistic terrain that traditional media has abandoned.

News & Analysis Sustainability

‘We Were Born Digital’: Premesh Chandran on the Success of Malaysiakini

Malaysiakini gained a global reputation by remaining independent while publishing in a restrictive media atmosphere. After 22 years at the helm, co-founder Premesh Chandran speaks about creating a quadrilingual website that receives millions of unique pageviews a day, and about helping to change the media conversation in Malaysia.

Saving Journalism 2 - Anya Schiffrin

News & Analysis Sustainability

Saving Journalism, Part One: Finding the Right Funding

In this excerpt from Anya Schiffrin’s latest report on the state of sustainability of journalism, the author discusses how government funding can throw the profession a lifeline in an era where philanthropic efforts to support the press are struggling and Big Tech is increasingly seen as a competitor instead of a platform for news organizations.

News & Analysis Sustainability

Retaining Independence and Fighting Lawsuits with a Membership Model

DOSSIER, an Austrian outlet that is a member center of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, has been able to offset the financial challenges experienced by many media outlets in Austria — and combat a series of vexatious lawsuits — thanks to its membership program.

Protest against violence by the Venezuelan government, 2017

Case Studies Sustainability

‘Illuminate the Darkness’: Creating an Independent News Site in Crisis-Hit Venezuela

The “dream” of Efecto Cocuyo began mid-2014, initially a discussion in cafes with colleagues and friends Laura Weffer and Josefina Ruggiero, as well as three young journalists. An incubator programme helped the team design an operational and business model and in January 2015 Efecto Cocuyo was born, launching first on Twitter and gaining 18,000 followers in its first week. At the time of writing, it had more than 724,000.


News & Analysis Press Freedom Sustainability

Amid a Press Crackdown in Myanmar, One News Site Survives on Reader Revenue

Even after the coup in Myanmar, Frontier Myanmar has continued reporting on socio-economic issues. Publishing deeply reported pieces has made them popular among their readers. However, the entire website is now behind a paywall and available only to paying members — rates that are high for an average news consumer within a country where roughly 37% of the people live below the poverty line.

Fundraising Sustainability Media

News & Analysis Sustainability

How a US Newspaper Raised $1 Million to Fund Investigations

In this excerpt, the executive editor of a regional US news outlet reveals the tactics that worked — and didn’t work — in their innovative campaign to raise $1 million to fund investigations. Among the key tips that emerged: one-on-one meetings, direct reach-outs, and published “what it cost” boxes are effective, and framing the pitch around benefits for the community, rather than the outlet, causes donors to dig deeper.

Programas membresías latam

News & Analysis Sustainability

How Mission-Driven News Sites Are Betting on Reader Revenue in Latin America

For digital-first news outlets in Latin America, lessons learned from reader-funding experiments are being transformed into highly tailored membership programs that offer a chance at a more sustainable future. Independent, mission-driven or subject-specific news sites, in particular, are leading the way, converting close relationships with audiences into funding through editorially-linked, labor-intensive initiatives.

Advisory Launch Image


GIJN Selects Three Media Organizations for Watchdog Capacity-Building

The Global Investigative Journalism Network is delighted to announce the selection of three Asian media organizations as participants in our new Investigative Journalism Assessment Program (IJ-MAP): The Caravan magazine in India, the KBR radio network in Indonesia; and the nonprofit Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.


Demonstrating Investigative Impact: More Reading

American Press Institute Metrics for News Gauging the Global Impacts of the ‘Panama Papers’ Three Years Later How to build a metrics-savvy newsroom Big Impact: A Pocket-Guide to the Financial Benefits of Major Investigations How an impact and reach scorecard helps Carolina Public Press gut-check its journalism What Makes a Good Metric? Media change deniers: […]


Demonstrating Investigative Impact: Essential Reading

Investigative journalism shines a light into dark corners of human, corporate and government behaviour and prompts corrective action and so, better societies. Yet it is hard to prove this impact – increasingly necessary as donors want to know the impact of the work they sponsor. Here are ways to show and measure your value, and […]


Crowdfunding: Case Studies

How the Correspondent crowdfunded $2.5m in 29 days Engaged Journalism Journalism crowdfunding platform PressPatron named hottest media industry tech start-up by NZ Marketing Magazine New Zealand Herald Platform uses crowdsourcing to fund journalism where press freedom is weak Columbia Journalism Review After crowdfunding success, Swiss magazine Republik charts a course to “reclaim journalism as a […]


Other Sources of Income: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

The media and the Blockchain – hype or hope? Can Blockchain Save Journalism? Civil to sell millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency to fund a global network of newsrooms Blockchain – it’s early days but never too early for publishers to get involved Goodbye, Denver Post. Hello, Blockchain Blockchain: What’s in it for the news […]


Other Sources of Income: Micropayments

Why micropayments aren’t dead … yet How to make your digital readers want to pay — from micropayments to social media subscriptions Global Editors Network In Winnipeg, micropayments aren’t generating big money, but they’re serving as a top-of-the-funnel strategy Like the changing of the seasons, publishers (again) turn to micropayments  


Other Sources of Income: Podcasts

8 ways publishers are making money from podcasts The Publisher’s Guide to Podcasting: Report Download Radio & Audio Grantmaking: Reaching New Audiences Through Old Platforms The Future of Podcasting is Subscription — Lessons from the History of Media How the Guardian is making podcasts pay off With Big Stars and Paid Subscriptions, Luminary Aims to […]


Commercial Revenue: Syndication, Publishing Partnerships, Rights Sales

Investigative journalism startup uses mobile gaming to finance its future The News Industry Could Learn a Thing or Two from Netflix CIR began pitching investigative stories to newspapers. It’s working on Hollywood now, too 101 Reporters connects journalists across India with media organizations that need their stories BuzzFeed has a new business model, so it’s […]


Audience Engagement and Revenue: Events

The art of hosting meaningful engagement events Todd Milbourn and Lisa Heyamoto Tips on Holding Live Events That Support Journalism How to Launch a Successful Events Business How To Use Community Media And Storytelling Events To Attract Donors To Your Nonprofit The New York Times is ramping up conference calls for subscribers that are run […]


Audience Engagement and Revenue: Newsletters

To keep readers after COVID publishers see hope in newsletters and podcasts How Indiegraaf helped launch 6 local news outlets during COVID-19 Newsletters Are Crucial for Reader Loyalty. Here’s How to Make the Most of Them. Not a newsletter monthly guide Newsletter Strategy Positioning Brief How newsletter innovations are driving publisher revenue  What’s News in […]