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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Read about the latest job openings posted on the SNPA website. And, send us your listings to post at no cost.More
A Franklin County town and the local newspaper that covers it are at odds over a public records request.
Town officials estimated The Wake Weekly, a Restoration Newsmedia newspaper, would have to pay a fee of about $70,000 before the town could comply with a public records request the paper made this month.
Legal experts called the fee "insane" and "shocking."
Town officials have since reduced that charge to about $15,000, a price the newspaper says is still too high.
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A newspaper veteran with 40 years of advertising and management experience is the Victoria (Texas) Advocate's new director of sales.More