About a month before the Texas Tribune launched in 2009, media reporter Jack Shafer wrote a piece for Slate delineating the numerous problems inherent in nonprofit journalism – namely, that nonprofits lose money on purpose, and thus, have to take handouts, which, Shafer says, "come with conditions." Shafer, who then blithely referred to CEO Evan Smith as "picking the pocket" of venture capitalist John Thornton, also spelled out that audience development is always secondary to advocacy in this sort of business model:
"Commercial outlets may reflect their owners' views, but this tendency is always tempered by the need to attract readers and viewers. Nonprofit outlets almost always measure their success in terms of influence, not audience, because their customers are the donors who've donated cash to influence politics, promote justice, or otherwise build a better world."
Of course, the Texas Tribune's base, composed of members scattered across the state and beyond, also includes deep-pocketed professional philanthropists. But just as the Tribune has evolved from a niche publication for hardcore policy wonks to a mainstream, establishment publication, its lofty goals for influence and audience aren't at odds with each other; they're inextricably linked.
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With its first community reporter, The Texas Tribune is turning Texans themselves into its next big beat
At the Texas Tribune, the desire to better listen and respond to the voices of readers has birthed the creation of a new beat on the site: Texans themselves. The Tribune plans to hire its first "community reporter," who will be charged with forging relationships with readers and using their feedback to help drive the Texas Tribune's coverage. The site is looking to crowdfund $25,000 to partially cover the salary of the position.
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According to a study by Borrell Associates Inc. conducted earlier this month, digital advertising spend (including email marketing) for political campaigns will increase dramatically for 2018 campaigns. The figures are expected to eclipse previous years' spend and set new records.
The study shows that digital ad spend is set to grow to $1.8 billion, beating out cable, radio, newspapers and telemarketing, among other categories. In fact, the only category that will beat digital ads in the budgets of politicians this year is broadcast TV, with $3.5 billion in spend. Email marketing experts at Site Impact say this is exciting news, and further proof that the best way to reach people is, increasingly, email marketing.More
You're the general manager of three small newspapers in north Florida, two of them much smaller than the third. It would be easy to cut costs by closing one or both of the smaller papers, each with circulation in the hundreds, not the thousands. Just shut one or both down, give their subscribers the larger paper instead, and hope they don't resent it too much. That's not what they did.More
My hometown newspaper instituted a new policy requiring that readers "pay" for the First Amendment right to express, and explain why, who or what they support or oppose at the voting booth.
The newspaper is sadly is not the first and won't be the last to begin charging readers for election endorsement letters. As a former editor, I appreciate the arguments presented for enacting the policy. It's still disappointing, and I respectfully disagree.More