INN launches Amplify news-sharing pilot; Sherry Skalko to direct

CHICAGO — June 29, 2017 — The Institute for Nonprofit News, an incubator and support network for nonprofit newsrooms  with 120+ members organizations across the U.S., is launching Amplify News -- a news distribution, placement and partnership hub to expand the reach and impact of news coverage from Midwestern communities.

The Amplify News Midwest pilot will test how  a shared collaboration and distribution hub can help grassroots newsrooms at the local and regional level collaborate and leverage today’s complex digital distribution channels to bring their news reporting to more people.

The project is funded by generous grants from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Joyce Foundation.

The project will be directed by Sherry Skalko, a digital news leader with a record of creating and leveraging quality journalism to drive growth for news outlets, nonprofit organizations and niche publications. She specializes in using technology and data to shape editorial content, audience development and monetization. Her career spans more than 25 years and across several platforms at national organizations, such as ESPN.com, AOL’s Patch and Tribune Interactive, as well as at local and regional organizations, such as The Chicago Reporter and South Florida SunSentinel.

Skalko also worked for the Online News Association, the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization for digital journalists. Her passion for digital content began in 1998, when she managed her first website redesign for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. A native of Cranston, R.I., she graduated with a degree in journalism from Boston University and began her career at her hometown newspaper, The Providence (R.I.) Journal.

The Amplify project is expected to involve more than 20 nonprofit news partners in its first year. It will be based in Chicago at host partners The Chicago Reporter and Public Narrative.

“The kinds of public interest stories that help people stay safe, understand their government or simply be more informed -- this kind of coverage increasingly comes from small, nonprofit newsrooms. Amplify News Midwest will work with these newsrooms to foster collaborations and leverage technology and media distribution channels so their stories and this information reaches more people in more communities,” said Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of INN.

“Skalko’s combined knowledge of Chicago and the Midwest, her experience building news networks and leveraging digital strategies, all make her a powerful resource for leaders of emerging public interest newsrooms expanding the reach of credible, community-based news coverage.” Cross said.

About INN:

The Institute for Nonprofit News is an incubator and support network for nonprofit newsrooms, strengthening the sources of independent, public service information and investigative journalism for thousands of communities across the U.S.  INN is the only organization in the U.S. specifically focused on supporting the emerging nonprofit news sector.

The INN member network includes more than 120 nonprofit news organizations dedicated to providing credible, nonpartisan news as a public service. INN provides a framework for collaboration and helps members develop new ways to support reliable news reporting, engage diverse communities and find business, technology and leadership support. Together, we work to bring investigative and civic news to more communities, hold the powerful accountable and give people knowledge to participate more fully in the public life of our democracy. More information can be found at https://inn.org, or by contacting Executive Director Sue Cross, sue@inn.org.