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Impact goals and revenue vary with type of nonprofit newsroom: new fact sheets

October 5, 2022

A set of INN Index Fact Sheets published today showcases three major models of nonprofit journalism, showing how the geographic scope of an outlet’s coverage affects total revenue, staff size and target audience. Scope of coverage is also tied to the impact that these organizations aim to achieve.

Analysis of 2021 data from the annual INN Index survey shows that across the INN Network’s local news organizations — the fastest-growing segment of the field — nearly three-fourths say that encouraging and inspiring civic engagement is a top priority. These newsrooms tend to cover a wide variety of topics of interest to local news consumers.

At state and regional news organizations — which have steadily spread to 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico —  the focus is on in-depth, investigative and explanatory journalism. Publishers cite revealing or preventing corruption or abuse of power and prompting government or institutional action among their topic impact goals.

Outlets that cover national and global issues are the oldest and most established members of the INN Network, and they are most likely to cover a limited number of related subjects or to specialize in a single subject. These organizations produce analysis and explanatory journalism oriented to build knowledge around a complicated topic. 

Newsrooms within each category — local, state/regional or national/global news — share commonalities in revenue, staffing and audience and distribution.

Local newsroom profile:

State/regional newsroom profile:

National/global newsroom profile:

INN Index Fact Sheets are designed to break down industry data so that members of the INN Network, funders and partners can more accurately benchmark their own operations.

Read the three new fact sheets for more detailed findings.

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