April 8, 2015

Message To Members From The INN Board

Dear INN members:

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful response about Kevin and, in general, to the INN listserv. It's clear that we all share the same sense of dedication for -- and passion about -- INN.

We're thankful for Kevin's many efforts for INN and its membership. But, as several members have pointed out, we're restricted in terms of what we can say about his departure since it is a situation that involves a confidential personnel matter.

What we can say is that decisions of this seven-member board have been unanimous and in the best interest of INN. The board consists of three officers who helped found INN in 2009 and have assisted many of you in your start-ups. It also has two well-respected long time journalism leaders who have decades in management experience, and members who are at two of our most vibrant organizations. It is a board that is experienced and deliberative.

We do wish we could have had a less abrupt transition and we were unable to achieve that. But also we know that INN is far more important than one staff member or one board, and we know we need to focus on our future and INN's next phase in which:

  • We want INN to be as responsive as possible to membership needs. The listserv has been a helpful resource for discussion and debate. The recent discussion about the Huffington Post offer is an example, and highlights the need for strong representation of INN members' business interests.
  • We want INN to be the leader in creating practical business education programs for nonprofit news organizations. (At this moment, we don't have in-person seminars scheduled -- other than the IRE conference INN day -- and we believe INN needs to move on that.)
  • We want INN to play a greater role in advocating for nonprofit news as a philanthropic cause.
  • We want to continue exploring how our Impaq.me project could benefit our members
  • We want to provide best-in-class technology and back-office support.
  • Some of INN's members are considering shutting down or merging. We believe INN should continue to nurture those organizations and help them grow or transition in a deliberative way.

There is much to do and we, the board and staff of INN, are looking forward to a bright future with you.

Laura Frank (board secretary)
President and General Manager of News
Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting

Anne Galloway
Founder and Editor

Tim Griggs
Publisher & Chief Operating Officer
The Texas Tribune

Brant Houston (board chair)
Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting
University of Illinois

Charles Lewis (board treasurer)
Professor and Executive Editor
Investigative Reporting Workshop
The American University School of Communication

Vivian Schiller
Former Global Chair of News at Twitter,
Senior VP & Chief Digital Officer for NBC News, and
President and CEO of NPR

Neal B. Shapiro
President and CEO