I’m excited to announce that I am joining the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation as their Director for Journalism and Sustainability. After seven years working on journalism, media and technology issues at the national level I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and working with an emerging network of local news sites around New Jersey and New York City. We are going to be drawing on lessons from around the nation and launching a number of our own new experiments, helping newsrooms develop diverse, community-driven models for sustainability.
I’ve spent the last fifteen years working with a range of national nonprofits to transform institutions and build stronger networks in journalism, education and conservation. My last seven years have focused specifically on supporting public-service journalism and freedom of expression through research, organizing and public policy. This has been hugely rewarding, but I’ve been increasingly eager to work more directly with journalists and newsrooms.
The Dodge Foundation’s approach to supporting journalism in New Jersey has helped the state become a vibrant testing ground for meeting community information needs. New journalism start-ups are reinventing how reporting is done, but too often, journalists do not have the resources, flexibility, or support to bring that same level of creativity to building more sustainable newsrooms.
In a recent survey, Michele McLellan found that more than 60 percent of local news sites increased their revenues in 2013, but only one third actually reported a profit and half are scraping by with less than $50,000 in revenue. My hope, is to bring new capacity to these newsrooms, freeing them up to take risks, experiment with new ideas, build community and learn as we go. Continue reading