Index in Focus highlights the emerging and distinct models for nonprofit news.
In this supplement to INN’s 2022 Index Report, we share fact sheets on the three major types of nonprofit news: local news, state and regional news, and national and global news. These segments are certainly not homogenous, yet each group shares characteristics in how they develop distinct revenue, product and audience models to support strong journalism and public service. A factsheet featuring outlets primarily serving communities of color is coming soon.
INN distributed the Index survey online in January 2022 to 338 INN network newsrooms, excluding service organizations that are also INN members, and 315, or 93%, completed the survey. Survey responses reflect performance in 2021. Survey language is provided here. The data do not scientifically represent all U.S. nonprofit news outlets, since not all belong to INN. Specific year-over-year comparisons should be interpreted cautiously; this report draws directional trends across the field.
To better understand how the field is developing, the Index team analyzed revenue and other performance data for 2021 based on:
Geographic scope: Whether the organization serves a defined local community, focuses on news of a state or a region, or is national or global in the scope of its coverage.
Coverage scope: Whether the organization focuses on a single-subject, a limited number or related subjects or covers general news like more traditional organizations.
Journalistic mission: Whether the organization focuses primarily on in depth investigative reporting, analysis and explanatory journalism or current events.
Communities of color: Whether or not an organization has a primary mission of providing coverage for and about one or more communities of color.
Note: These five categories are not mutually exclusive. All INN outlets fall into one of the three geographic categories: 1) local, 2) state or regional, or 3) national or global. Across all geographic categories combined, about one-fifth of outlets primarily serve communities of color, and a little over a fifth of outlets are single-topic news outlets.
INN provides actionable research on nonprofit journalism for our members, partners and the wider field. Our research captures the progress and setbacks across the nonprofit news field and highlights the best practices and success stories that emerge from our members.