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INN Index

The Index is the most comprehensive study of the state of nonprofit news.

As the nonprofit news field rapidly changes and grows, INN tracks and studies what’s happening behind-the-scenes.

Through exploring Index data, you can learn what drives nonprofit news, how it’s funded, who it serves, and how we can continue expanding sources of high-quality information for the public.

Latest research

Index In Focus

INN’s fact sheets dive deep into the five main types of nonprofit news: local news, state and regional news, national and global news, news that primarily serves communities of color, and single-topic news.

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Index Reports

INN’s latest 2021 Index Report shows that during a year of crises, audiences swelled, coverage expanded, staffing measures increased, and individual giving revenue surged for many outlets.

This tumultuous year generated the fastest growth in nonprofit news media since the financial crisis of 2008, when many journalists left legacy media to create nonprofit newsrooms, with the aim of saving accountability and investigative reporting considered essential to democracy. The breadth of growth in 2020 accelerates the establishment of this new kind of media.

INN Index 2021

In 2021, the INN Index found that the nonprofit news field grew by almost every measure.

DEI Report 2020

Diversity, equity and inclusion progress and setbacks across the nonprofit news field.

INN Index 2020

The 2020 Index found nonprofit news entered the COVID-19 crisis with steady finances, growing ranks and an evolving relationship with its audience.

INN Index 2019

The 2019 Index report finds that public support is growing as more individuals donate.

INN Index 2018

INN’s first Index repor was the first comprehensive study of the nonprofit, digital media sector.


94%

of INN outlets took the latest Index survey

66%

of INN outlets grew overall revenue in 2020


70%

of INN outlets have 3+ revenue streams

Index Insights

Three ways nonprofit news outlets can grow individual giving in 2021 and beyond

Index data points to a need for new revenue strategies for publishers Read Now

Fans of the Index

The Index acts as a compass for the field. But don’t take it from us — here are a few examples of how the Index data is used across different sectors.

“Understanding life in the long tail is really important as news ecosystems redefine themselves in the digital age. The Index was an important springboard for us to evaluate the UK landscape for independent news, to further understand the complex parameters of sustainable journalism. The opportunities for comparative international research are rare.”

— Clare Cook, Public Interest News Foundation

“We are trying to rebuild America’s access to the local news and information that communities and our democracy rely on, and the INN Index is a vital tool to understand this emerging sector. The Index helps us listen to the nonprofit news field and ensure our strategies and grantmaking are making a positive impact.”

— Josh Stearns, Democracy Fund
Courtney Hurtt

“At INN, we are only as strong as our network of member organizations. As the nonprofit new field continues to grow and strengthen, we’d hope to see some problems be solved while new challenges emerge. The Index helps to signal these shifts and evolve INN programs like NewsMatch to better serve what newsrooms need today.” 

— Courtney Hurtt, NewsMatch

“As a nonprofit newsroom, we have long tracked how our work resonates with readers. The Index Report provides us with a critical tool to compare our organization to similarly situated news outlets. This kind of evaluation allows us to have meaningful conversations and set realistic goals as we continue to grow our newsroom.”

— Nichole Dobo, The Hechinger Report

INN shares data on nonprofit news

data request form

Want Index data for your research project, journalism course, or assessment? Please complete this data request form, and a member of our team will be in touch.

Have other questions about the Index or nonprofit news data? Reach out to Emily Roseman, INN’s research director at emily.r@inn.org.

For media related inquiries about the INN Index, please contact news@inn.org.

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

Guides

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

Research from our peers

Useful data and examples from the field of nonprofit news

Compensation Study

Average salaries, benefits and more from across the field

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