Chicago INN Amplify members collaborate on online voter tool for city elections

By Sharon McGowan
INN Amplify Collaborations Leader

Chicago elected its first African-American woman and openly gay mayor on April 2, and the date also marked the culmination of Chi.vote, a hugely successful collaborative journalism project geared toward educating voters about the municipal elections. Fernando Diaz, editor of The Chicago Reporter, called the project a “fantastic” success. “We did something together that we’d never done before, and hadn’t been done in Chicago,” he said, adding that users had an overwhelmingly positive experience. The Better Government Association (BGA), The Chicago Reporter and Block Club Chicago, all INN Amplify members, were also founding members of Chi.vote, along with The Daily Line and The TRiiBE. Contributors included Chalkbeat Chicago and City Bureau, also INN Amplify members.

SD News Watch team

How South Dakota News Watch uncovered abuses in a youth home and changed state policies

It was a story waiting too long for public attention: Some staff members at a rural facility housing young people with behavioral issues had physically, sexually and psychologically abused the children. South Dakota News Watch uncovered the story in June — resulting in the governor ordering an overhaul of the inspection processes for all youth treatment facilities in the state. The "Treatment or Trauma?" series exposed the harsh physical restraints on the residents that some employees of the facility regularly used — resulting in facial rug burns, black eyes, bloody noses, bruising and injured limbs. The story relied on a dozen on-the-record interviews and documents hard to obtain in a state with weak public records laws.

INN LEAP: Spring 2018 class update

Six more leaders selected for LEAP Initiative to advance strategy and scale for nonprofit newsrooms

LOS ANGELES — The Institute for Nonprofit News announces the spring class of the LEAP initiative, an executive program designed to help senior leaders of established nonprofit news organizations navigate strategic challenges to advance their growth and impact. The six experienced executives selected for the spring class will work together to address their strategic challenges with support and guidance from INN as well as subject-matter experts and business coaches. The participants for the Spring 2018 session are:

The cohort met June 12 for their first meeting in Orlando, Fla. in advance of INN's annual conference, INN Days 2018, where they participated in business leadership workshops alongside INN's Emerging Leaders Council and major gifts training programs. Members also attended the conference. Led by INN Director of Programs and Services Fran Scarlett, the LEAP Initiative is a leadership program designed to help senior managers of well-established nonprofit news organizations seeking to update or change strategy or move to the next level of growth.

INN Member Civil Eats gives food for thought

Launched in 2009, Civil Eats is the leading daily media source for providing original content and commentary to inform critical thought about the American food system. By focusing on fair, balanced, high-quality journalism, Civil Eats breaks important news, educates leaders and policymakers, influences the national conversation about food, and serves as an invaluable resource for broader mainstream media. For its first four years, Civil Eats operated with no funding and as a labor of love. Now in its ninth year, Civil Eats has achieved significant impact and reach: It raised an unprecedented $100,000 via Kickstarter in 2013 and was named Publication of the Year in 2014 by the James Beard Foundation, all with very limited resources. Civil Eats’ innovative media model reaches millions more through content partnerships with high-profile print and online publications, including TIME, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, Yahoo!, Food & Wine, Public Radio International, PBS/ITVS, New York Magazine, Eater, Quartz, and Maplight.

Online News Association

INN Members Dominate Online News Association Award Nods

A stunning nine independent, nonprofit newsrooms from INN's membership have been named as finalists in this year's Online News Association Awards, a performance almost as notable as INN members' dominance of the most recent round of grants from the Ethics and Excellence In Journalism Foundation.

INN members get discounted charity registration service

 

LOS ANGELES — Dec. 11, 2017 — Members of the Institute for Nonprofit News can receive discounted charity registration and compliance services under a new partnership between INN and Charity Compliance Solutions announced Monday. Nonprofit news organizations are required to register in any of 41 states if they actively solicit donations or have donors residing in those states. As public support grows for nonprofit news organizations, those expanding fundraising through email and other campaigns often need to register in multiple states.. The growth of online donations has made compliance even more of a challenge, and many nonprofits find it more cost- and time-effective to work with a charity registration firm than handle their own registrations throughout the year.

INN Members hosting Emma Bowen Foundation fellows for the summer

Twenty fellows participating in the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media program for students of color are helping Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) members, along with INN, this summer, as part of a new partnership.

This is the first time the foundation placed fellows who are college students and recent college graduates from its summer fellowship program inside nonprofit news organizations for eight-week internships focused on new media business, technology and editorial.

Mother Jones: Legacy news magazine follows the readers to digital growth and nonprofit donor support

Case study co-published by Institute for Nonprofit News and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. The PDF version from INN can be downloaded here and was designed by Elizabeth Scott. For five takeaway tips from this case study, click here. In February 2012, the nonprofit news organization Mother Jones published a seemingly ordinary story that would prove to change its fate. The story profiled a Republican donor, Frank VanderSloot, and among other things, his treatment of a gay journalist.

New distribution opportunities increase reach, revenue for INN members

The need for information related to the current pandemic is bringing more audiences to news sites across the board — but through new distribution opportunities, nonprofit news outlets have an extra opportunity to gain new readers, insights into their audience and even earn additional revenue

Over the past few months, INN has been able to offer members new opportunities for third-party distribution through partnerships with Smart News, Patch, Spotlight, News Break and, most recently, Nextdoor. These platforms range in function, though all share member content through aggregation by location to connect readers to stories in their area. “Our goal at INN is to strengthen the nonprofit news ecosystem, and one of the ways we do that is by helping members get their high-quality content in front of new audiences,” said Jonathan Kealing, INN’s chief network officer. “All of these distribution deals seek to help members bring in new audiences who, hopefully, will help them become more sustainable over time. And we’re always especially excited when we can pair a distribution opportunity with a revenue stream, to reinforce members’ business operations.”

One partnership in particular has helped members generate substantial revenue.

Print Still Matters

Jordon Moss provides insight into the link between print and digital journalism and how to provide hyper local news for the community.

Steal These Ideas: Five Tips from the MoJo Case Study

Below are five lessons from MoJo’s experiences that other nonprofit investigative newsrooms can adapt and use. These tips stem from the INN/Shorenstein Center case study on Mother Jones, published Dec. 9, 2019. One: Treat your audience like your public board. By sharing strategic information like company financials and plans for the future, Mother Jones opened up a new relationship with its audience.

The Best Nonprofit Journalism of 2017

Voices raised. Knowledge gained. Accountability. Inspiration.
Come read the stories that we all know about this year thanks to the work of nonprofit newsrooms.

What this Facebook change means for nonprofit news

For independent and nonprofit media, news that Facebook overhauled its News Feed to focus on what friends and family share is clarifying. I don’t mean that it’s good. In fact, it’s likely to diminish the reach of important news. A company that could be a global force for good in quality news and the civic engagement around is instead backing away from that opportunity or responsibility, however you look at it. But there are benefits to clarity for publishers, and for nonprofit news publishers in particular.

What wouldn’t you know, if not for nonprofit news media?

Across America over the last year, reporters in nonprofit newsrooms broke thousands of stories while pursuing journalism in the public interest. Here are some of the best from the 120 member newsrooms of INN: Fact-based and community-focused. Transparent and non-partisan. Reporting for you. Reporting by InDepthNH.org in New Hampshire helped free a man who was locked up for seven years even though he wasn't convicted of a crime — with most of those years spent in the state prison's psychiatric unit.