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.
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.
of INN outlets took the latest Index survey
of INN outlets grew overall revenue in 2020
of INN outlets have 3+ revenue streams
Here’s what INN’s 2021 Index Report tells us about the state of the field:
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
“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
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Have other questions about the Index or nonprofit news data? Reach out to Emily Roseman, INN’s research director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.