Networks, News & New Public Media

The wild proliferation of blogs and social media is creating new arenas of discourse and information exchange, even as traditional and commercial news media are wracked by declining revenues and ongoing cutbacks in relevant coverage.

Yet “the blogosphere” and Web 2.0 alone are not sufficient infrastructure for professional journalism practice. An additional layer of open/co-op social organization and capital provision is necessary.

New nonprofit journalism projects could provide some of this, but they often work in isolation from each other, and lack sustainable business models. Meanwhile, traditional public media remain too centralized to effectively cover important but overlooked issues and underserved communities nationwide.

Our solution is to build peer networks of independent producers who share a focus on important but overlooked issues and underserved communities, and to provide them with a shared back office to handle fund development, operations, promotions and marketing.

A peer-to-peer network for journalists makes the most of the Internet as a decentralized medium — as shared infrastructure for formal but independent journalistic practice and related dialogue. Outcomes include:

  • The propagation of a networked journalism practice that empowers independent producers and prioritizes community information needs.
  • Strengthening the co-op and shared back-office model as an alternative to centralized news-media management.
  • The creation of a new public-media network for local and regional journalism.