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INN Index in Focus

Index in Focus highlights the emerging and distinct models for nonprofit news.

In this supplement to INN’s 2021 Index Report, we share fact sheets on the five key segments of nonprofit news: local news, state and regional news, national and global news, publications primarily serving communities of color, and single-topic news specialists. 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.

Fact Sheets

Local news fact sheet

The local sector of nonprofit news is growing rapidly, with an average of nearly one launch per month for each of the past three years.

State and regional news fact sheet

State and regional news lead the field in developing a revenue mix that balances multiple funding sources.

National and global news fact sheet

National and global organizations make up the most established and prominent group in nonprofit news.

Outlets that focus on communities of color fact sheet

Nonprofit news organizations whose primary mission is serving communities of color have nearly doubled in number since 2017.

Single-topic news fact sheet

This niche group has quadrupled in number since 2008, fueled in part by success in attracting foundation support.

Download a PDF version of all fact sheets here.

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INN distributed the Index survey online in January 2021 to 284 INN network newsrooms, excluding service organizations that are also INN members, and 268, or 94%, completed the survey. Survey responses reflect performance in 2020. 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 2020 based on:

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. 

More of INN’s research

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.

Case Studies

Lessons learned and progress made by individual news organizations


How-to playbooks for practitioners, including guides for launching a new outlet, converting to a nonprofit, and growing earned revenue 

Compensation Study

Average salaries, benefits and more from across the field

Have questions about the Index or nonprofit news data? Reach out to Emily Roseman, INN’s research director at

For media related inquiries about INN or Index In Focus, please contact

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