The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Nov 14, 2009

New Business Models for News

Posted by Knight Foundation

Jose Zamora is a Journalism Program Associate at Knight Foundation Local media is the focus of the journalism conference circuit. Estimates claim $100 billion in local-ad revenue could support local news and information projects, if it could only be successfully tapped. This follows the Knight Commission for the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy recommendation for innovation: its report says journalism does not need saving so much as it needs creating.

So what's an entrepreneur to do? First, you need a business model. Looking for just such a holy grail, the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism created the New Business Models for News Project. The project researched the best practices in the business of online journalism and released four business models that can be used by anyone in any community.

The four business models were presented and discussed last Wednesday at the New Business Models for (Local) News Conference and Hypercamp at CUNY. You can download the models at

Ideas and experiments are springing up weekly. If you are interested in learning more about new business models for news you might also want to take a loot at:

Ideas for Micropayments Journalism Online, LLC.

Village an internet-age business model to transform the traditional community newspaper business.

Printcasting, a new revenue model for "people-powered magazines.",' a new crowd-funding model for paying for investigative reporting.

Minnpost, is a new hybrid non-profit model' that is supported by ads, memberships and foundation support. You can also look at the Voice of San Diego.

Other non-profit experiments include St. Louis Beacon and Gotham Gazette (in NY).

News 21 and the Chauncey Bailey project pioneered public-private experiments in investigative reporting.

Other university-based news models include the investigative reporting projects at Boston University, UC Berkeley, Brandeis and Northeastern.

Other nonprofits that are doing well include Pro Publica in NY, Center for Investigative Reporting in SF, Center for Public Integrity in DC.

These are only a few of the'models that individuals, organizations and universities have been using to figure out a new way to sustain journalism.

If you think none of these projects are the right digital innovations to provide quality news and information to communities, come up with one of your own, and enter the Knight News Challenge at

Back to top