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INN Days

A community of news leaders, funders and researchers exploring the questions and solutions shaping the future of nonprofit news.

Looking to join the conference? This year’s conference will take place virtually on Hopin, an interactive online conference platform. As a registered attendee, you will receive a unique magic link in your inbox that will allow you to join the conference. Can’t find your magic link? Contact our tech support team at for assistance.

Registration is now closed for the 2022 event. For questions, please contact us.


Under this year’s theme, Igniting Our Collective Power, INN will host workshops, talks and networking opportunities to spark collective action. Each day of the conference has a particular focus:

  • Day of Learning (June 13): Leave each session with practical advice for a growing newsroom.
  • The INN Network (June 14): Explore what is happening across INN member organizations.
  • Navigating this Moment (June 15): Take a step back and examine the big picture of what’s happening in the world and how it affects the nonprofit news sector.

For the most up-to-date version of the schedule, view our program booklet.

11:30 a.m. ET

Welcome: A day of learning

Leave each session with practical advice for a growing newsroom. 

Speaker: Courtney Lewis, INN

11:45 a.m. ET

Talking transition with the Texas Tribune

Founders play an essential role in shaping the vision and culture of startup and growing nonprofit news organizations. They can bring an unparalleled energy level and sometimes be a core reason for a newsroom’s early success. But as any organization grows, so should the role of its founder. How do you know when it is time to pass the torch? And how does a founder transition in a way that strengthens the organization, not weakens it? Outgoing CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune Evan Smith speaks with the organization’s new Editor-in-Chief Sewell Chan about what it’s like to bring new leadership into a thriving organization to drive a vision for the future.

Speakers: Evan Smith and Sewell Chan, The Texas Tribune
Moderator: Soraya Membreno, INN

12:30 p.m. ET

Speed Networking

1:00 p.m. ET

Collaboration classifieds: Find partners for future projects

Join this interactive session to learn about available collaborative opportunities across the nonprofit news field. Whether you’re a newsroom looking for collaboration partners or interested in gaining support for collaborative projects, hear these quick pitches to find your perfect match.

Speaker: Bridget Thoreson, INN

Building a diverse team that reflects your community

We’ve seen signs of progress in racial equity and inclusion within the nonprofit news field. In 2020, over a third of outlets (37%) had a staff where people of color made up 40% or more of total personnel, roughly representative of the U.S. population. But there’s still work to be done. Learn how to address common hiring and management questions with an equity lens from HR and talent development experts.

Speakers: Miki Clayton; Nonprofit HR; Jayo Miko Macasaquit, The 19th; Celen Vasquez, COOP
Moderator: Sara Shahriari, INN

How to grow your audience

Gathering data is easy. Using it is hard. In this session, the Google News Initiative’s Tina Xiao and Nicole Rocchio will share recommendations based on their work with thousands of news organizations worldwide. They will show you how to mine your data for trends about your audience that can help you grow your traffic, your revenue, and the loyalty of your readers. Sponsored by Google News Initiative

Speakers: Tina Xiao, Google News Initiative; Abbey Gingras, News Revenue Hub

2:30 p.m. ET

Creating an operationally sound organization

Learn how a solid operations foundation can help with everything from risk and money management to retention and succession planning.

Speakers: Lisa Heyamoto, LION Publishers

Powering up NewsMatch through community matches

While growth in individual giving has been a central marker of success for the program, we noticed something bigger was happening. NewsMatch also provides a way to secure large contributions from major donors, foundations and small businesses in the form of community or “local” match funds. In this session, newsrooms that have successfully secured matching gifts from local funders distill best practices for obtaining matches and using them to bolster individual giving.

Speakers: Vandana Kumar, India Currents; Megan Wrappe, Futuro Media Group; Shannon GaNun, The Current GA
Moderator: Jeffrey Woolverton, ICIJ

Community-centric models for delivering the news

One of INN’s most popular member events of the year was a From the Field session where members shared how they listen to and identify the information needs of communities of color. This INN Days session will continue this conversation —  highlighting how nonprofit newsrooms have created innovative distribution channels to also reach communities with valuable news and information.

Speakers: Rommel Ojeda, Documented; Jesús Del Toro, La Raza Newspaper;  Ron Smith, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service; Sabrina Iglesias, The Trace
Moderator: Jihii Jolly, Time Spent

3:40 p.m. ET

SmartView First: Find new audience and grow revenue

Join SmartNews and a few of its INN partners to learn how non-profit organizations of all sizes and coverage areas can grow their audience and revenue through the SmartView First program. We’ll discuss new product features, content best practices and how SmartNews utilizes technology with human guidance to provide high-quality news to millions of users daily. Sponsored by SmartNews

Speakers: Jodi Donner, Angela Lunter, Bernie Davis, SmartNews

11:30 a.m. ET

Welcome: The INN Network

Explore what is happening across INN member organizations and how they work together to serve communities.

Speaker: Jonathan Kealing, INN

11:40 a.m. ET

INN Index: The sustained success of nonprofit news

The INN Index is the most comprehensive study of the state of nonprofit news, typically published on an annual basis. Four years of data shows how nonprofit news is growing and reveals qualities of what the future of journalism will look like.

Speakers: Emily Roseman, INN; Jesse Holcomb, Calvin University

12:15 p.m. ET

Speed Networking

12:45 p.m. ET

Solutions for equitable funding access

We know journalism provides critical avenues to a stronger democracy, community connection, and government and corporate accountability. To provide adequate representation and coverage of civic issues, newsrooms need to secure sustainable funding sources beyond reader revenue. We’re seeing more local newsrooms start up led by and serving lower-income and communities of color (two terms which are often erroneously conflated), bringing innovative reporting and significant social impact. These newsrooms tend to be smaller, and often have a harder time tapping into revenue sources such as foundation funding, major donors, civic partnerships, and sponsorships. This session will explore what newsrooms are trying, barriers to funding, and how philanthropy can do to meet their needs to ensure equitable access to quality news.

Speakers: Deana Balinton, El Tímpano; Rakiba Kibria, Common Future; Robert Chappell, Madison 365
Moderator: Allison Budschalow, Securing the Roots & Dragonfly Partners

How big tech needs to help consumers get credible news

Tech platforms are the news front page for millions of people, determining whether people see disinformation or credible news we see. What do journalists need to know now about how big tech can or should lift the discoverability of trustworthy news over disinformation, and how we handle the risks. Get a global view of the issues from Lizzie Landels of Microsoft’s Information Integrity and Democracy Forward team. Sponsored by Microsoft Start

Speaker: Lizzie Landels, Microsoft
Moderator: Jonathan Kealing, INN

2:00 p.m. ET

Unusual Suspects: Bringing new funders to journalism

New funders are entering the journalism world, ranging from local businesses to national institutions. Hear from new-to-news funders on their journey — including what drove their interest, what they are learning, and how aspiring grantees can make their case.

Speakers: Katherine Plog Martinez, KP Catalysts; Daphne Moore, Walton Family Foundation; Natalie Kelinske, Waco Community Foundation; Tracie Powell, The Pivot Fund
Moderator: Barbara Raab, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation

3:00 p.m. ET

When local news partners with national outlets

As polarization of national news outlets increases and the revenues of local new organizations suffer, collaboration is key in providing reliable information to create informed and engaged communities. How can national and local news organizations partner effectively to benefit from the connections of local journalists and the resources that national news outlets — and what challenges will they face?

Speakers: Wendi Thomas,  MLK50; Sara Hebel, Open Campus; Charles Ornstein, ProPublica; Ebony Reed, The Marshall Project

11:30 a.m. ET

Welcome: Navigating this moment

Explore the big picture of what’s happening in the world and how it affects the nonprofit news sector.

Speaker: Sue Cross, INN

11:40 a.m. ET

What can news learn from public spaces? A lot.

At this moment, journalism is being called to reinvention. From how it’s funded, to who it’s made for and the people who are at the forefront of its innovation. But here’s the catch. News is not the first civic asset to go through this transition, and it probably won’t be the last.

In this session, we’ll look at another shared resource — public spaces — and the work being done to reimagine the role they can play in bringing communities together, cultivating trust, and making the places we live more equitable. This evolution is being powered by collective action and collaborations between funders, artists, local governments, community members, and other stakeholders to create solutions and achieve a common vision.

Speakers: Carol Coletta, Memphis River Parks Partnership
Moderator: Courtney Lewis, INN

12:10 p.m. ET

Speed Networking

12:30 p.m. ET

Why we decided to start a local news organization

Starting a newsroom that serves a neighborhood/small town comes with its challenges. Learn why these news leaders are taking on the charge.

Speakers: Sonam Vashi, Canopy Atlanta; Andrew Phillips, Door County Knock; Irene Romulo, Cicero Independiente; Norine Dworkin, VoxPopuli
Moderator: Tasneem Raja, Oaklandside

The Chicago experiment

For a decade, Chicago has been a catalyst for new models in journalism, incubating more local nonprofit news outlets than any other major metro. It’s home to organizations like City Bureau and Block Club Chicago, which are practicing deep listening, co-learning, and innovation to reach and serve people of color in the city. Now, its reputation as the journalism innovation center of the nation just took a big leap as WBEZ public radio agreed to merge with the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper and combine their newsrooms into a new journalism powerhouse. What can be done to increase public support for all news in Chicago? And how will local residents benefit from this growth?  The news leaders creating a new future for news talk about the possibilities with us.

Speakers: Nissa Rhee, Borderless Magazine; Tracy Brown, WBEZ; Nykia Wright, Chicago Sun-Times; Bettina Chang, City Bureau
Moderator: Courtney Lewis, INN

2:00 p.m. ET

The bark of the watchdog: A fight against public corruption

Be among the first to hear Nikki Usher discuss a new study suggesting that the presence of nonprofit news organizations in failing local commercial news markets may be an important safeguard against public corruption.

Speaker: Nikki Usher, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Moderator: Sue Cross, INN

2:30 p.m. ET

Who’s your source? The story of the INN Network

Celebrate the launch of a new brand identity for the INN Network and experience our new communications toolkit designed to help newsroom leaders, entrepreneurs, funders and community supporters describe the unique value of nonpartisan, fact-based, nonprofit news that truly serves the public’s interest.

Speaker: Sharene Azimi, INN

3:00 p.m. ET

Close: Taking action

Speaker: Sue Cross, INN

Our Sponsors

We want to thank our INN Days 2022 supporters, including title sponsors The Inasmuch Foundation and The Knight Foundation, in addition to Google News Initiative, Microsoft, Walton Family Foundation, The Lenfest Institute, SmartNews, News Revenue Hub and Newspack whose contributions have made this year’s convening possible. We are grateful for your support.

Past Conferences

In 2021, INN Days attracted more than 1,000 registrants — our largest crowd ever. See last year’s conference program.

View available videos and resources from past conferences below.

INN Days 2021

Accelerating the future of nonprofit news

INN at Home Part 2

Exploring racial equity in journalism

INN at Home

Sustainability and equity in a time of crisis

INN Days 2019

Building public and financial support for news

INN Days 2018

Sustainable business practices for a new field

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