Futures Lab Update #98: Ideas From Nonprofit News

    by Reuben Stern
    March 19, 2015
    ProPublica uses partnerships as a way to get its reporting to a wider audience. Partnerships have become an integral way for nonprofit news outlets to target their reporting more effectively. Screenshot courtesy of RJI.

    This week we explore some of the ideas and opportunities emerging among nonprofit newsrooms, including The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Marshall Project, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune.

    "Like any other relationship, I think partnerships work best with clarity on the outset, that you want to be very, very clear on what you're expecting, what your branding is, how things are going to be presented, how things are going to be linked to. And one should not shy away from the very nuts-and-bolts specifics of it." -- Steve Engelberg, editor-in-chief, ProPublica

    Reporting by Katy Mersmann, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.


    PART 1: Partnerships

    Collaboration with other organizations is a key element of most nonprofit newsrooms, and it often enables them to go after projects they could not deliver otherwise. Steve Engelberg of ProPublica and Joaquin Alvarado of The Center for Investigative Reporting explain what goes into making these efforts work.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    PART 2: Impact

    For nonprofit organizations, the definition of success is often broader than simply generating page views, so new methods are emerging to gauge the impact and outcomes from the journalism. We explore how ProPublica and CIR are considering these alternatives to traditional metrics.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information about CIR’s impact measurement, check out our previous report.


    PART 3: Focus

    Some nonprofit outlets are finding success by targeting a specific niche audience or subject area. Gabriel Dance of The Marshall Project and Tim Griggs of The Texas Tribune explain how sticking to one specific focus helps them attract and maintain funding.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.


    Tagged: center for investigative reporting cir engagement impact measuring impact niche reporting partnerships propublica revenue models rji rji futures lab the marshall project the texas tribune

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