Public Support.9 News Batting Averages

Posted on 23. Oct, 2008 by in Uncategorized

Leonard Witt says gathering money should be a way of sustaining a network.  He points to Minnesota Public Radio as an excited donor base.

Osnos says there’s always a tug of war between funder demand for content and editorial independence.  He points to Frontline as an entrepreneurial and hard-nosed news show.  “Recognize that it’s never going to be easy,” he says.  “We’re going to be constantly looking for new forms of funding.  …The privilege of independence is eternal struggle.”

“Except for the micropayment model, we’re asking, how do we get people to pay for our models, which aren’t very successful?” says Jan Schaffer of J-Lab.  She feels the funding question is too divorced from the main conversation of networking.  “How would public support of that mindset goose aspirations … that would help a company move from an old construct to a new construct?”

Jay Rosen:  “How do we change the journalism … so it’s more fundable?”

“I’m not at all sure the journalism needs to be transformed,” Tofel says.  He points out that although the NYTimes stock price dropped to a 1985 price level, but yesterday the NYTimes reached more people than it could have imagined in 1985.

Tofel compares the excellent story average of 20% that Ira Glass named for NPR with the Times, also calling it a 20% excellent news product.  He says a news organization doesn’t need to hit 2/5 stories for him to run out and get it at his doorstep each day. 


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