The Index findings underscore four key media development focal points for the next few years, within the broad, continued development of revenue and audience:
Continue to spread diversity, equity and inclusion gains across the field, in staffing and leadership but also community coverage and service. Gains have been substantial but vary widely across the field. The reporting of staff diversity stats by nearly 95% of the field indicates there is a broad commitment to building on that accountability.
Work with national funders to expand funding of local news in systemic, scalable ways. The data shows national funding can advance broad sustainability in news through highly leveraged, catalytic funding programs such as Report for America, NewsMatch and holistic collaborations and consortia within the field.
Rebuild the earned revenue gains that took a hit during the pandemic, and resume the growth trajectory for sponsorships, underwriting, events and other earned revenue streams.
Fund and support reporting consortia that take on complex topics and provide that expert reporting broadly across the country. The field is transforming, and reporting consortia and alliances including the Rural News Network, Open Campus and Kaiser Health News are creating new and enduring collaborations to produce mission-driven reporting and deliver it to larger audiences.