Support the Next Generation

December 2, 2021

News about the journalism industry is often dark and gloomy these days, with hedge funds gobbling up newspapers at a prolific pace while other publications -- both print-focused and online -- either closing up shop or dramatically reducing staffing and coverage, leaving the public to fend off misinformation and political and economic turmoil.

But there are bright spots, as well. New publications are popping up across the country, and many existing outlets are finding creative business models to help them reach sustainability and profitability. We like to share those stories whenever we can here with you, our valued NewStart Alliance readers. From Tony Baranowski's deep dive into newspapers in the Midwest, to Victor Hernandez's look at publications finding ways to keep philanthropic-funded positions, we are shedding light on the stories that often aren't told.

But we aren't just telling stories. The students in our program are out there doing the thing.

Take our first cohort of NewStart students (a.k.a. The NewStart 6), for example. They just graduated a few months ago, and have already found success:

  • 2 created media startups

-1 statewide digital nonprofit in Arizona

-1 digital/print publication in West Virginia

  • 2 are in talks to purchase existing newspapers
  • 1 was hired as Chief Content Officer of WBUR in Boston
  • 1 was promoted to co-publisher of Times Citizen Communications in Iowa

Our next cohort is already building upon that success:

  • 1 created a nonprofit organization to address diversity issues in journalism
  • 1 created a print publication in Indiana
  • 3 are developing online publications across the country
  • 1 is searching for the right opportunity to purchase in West Virginia

I'm probably a little biased here, but the NewStart program is one of the bright spots right now in journalism.

However, we want to do more.

And you can help.

We recently received several generous donations totaling $10,000, and would love to match that via more tax-deductible donations from supporters like you.

What would that funding mean for a small program like ours?

  • We'd be able to offer scholarships to more students, starting with our next cohort in 2022. 
  • We'd be able to invest in additional industry-led curriculum development that keeps pace with rapid changes in the media landscape.
  • We'd be able to invest more in audience, community and publication analysis to help students make the best decisions when purchasing existing businesses or creating new ones.

"I believe small, hyper-local and independent is the path forward for the business of news and that’s really at the core of NewStart’s design,” said inaugural NewStart fellow Tony Baranowski. “I’m not aware of any other program that takes the wide view of community news like NewStart, drilling down on business models, journalism, social media, analytics, circulation, tech tools and everything in between. I felt prepared to be a publisher before NewStart -- now I feel even more confident and have a cohort of savvy journalists and experts to lean on as I look to continue advocating for community newspapers moving forward."

During this giving season, we know there are a lot of outstanding organizations vying for your attention. We hope that, as a supporter of our NewStart program, you’ll demonstrate the value we add to the future of journalism by making a donation today.

Thanks, as always, for your support. It takes an Alliance to make this happen, and I appreciate all of you who have contributed to the cause in many ways. We'll be back tomorrow with a regular edition of the NewStart Alliance, so I'll see you then!