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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Over the summer, the folks at The Palm Beach Post in Florida realized they had "a very large stock" of aging spadea paper that had to be used fairly quickly. Spadea paper, used for premium advertising that folds or wraps around the front section of the newspaper, eventually ages to the point that it's no good. The unused stock of paper became one half of a special package that also featured premium positioning on the paper's website.More
Southern hospitality and a Midwest-rooted sensibility will combine when SNPA and Inland Press Association team up for a Joint Annual Meeting next fall.
SNPA and Inland, known for programming practical, actionable information in a collegial environment, will meet at the J.W. Marriott Chicago in the city's Loop from Sunday, Oct. 6, through Tuesday, Oct. 8.More