Report on non-profit newsrooms shows great growth in local startups, and revenue up

Newspack got a preview of an upcoming report on non-profit journalism this week, and things are looking up.

Calvin University assistant professor Jesse Holcomb has been conducting research for the Institute for Nonprofit News for several years, and he pointed to some positive trends. He also stressed that the survey covers only non-profit digital outlets, but the findings could well be reflected in the broader industry of small digital newsrooms.

More than 300 publishers responded, including 90 who took part in the 2018 survey. And among that smaller group over four years:

  • 68 percent saw revenue increase
  • More than half at least doubled their small-donor total donations, signaling growing community awareness and support
  • 75 percent saw email subscriber lists grow, with a median of a 33 percent increase

Catch all of Jesse’s presentation here; he’s introduced at the 20:30 mark.

The full results will be released by INN in July. In addition to reviewing the INN survey, Jesse addressed the less-rosy media trends highlighted in a recent Pew Center survey of 12,000 U.S.-based journalists.

Jesse is a researcher specializing in the study of American news audiences and journalists. In addition to serving as the lead data analyst on the INN survey since 2018, he is a principal adviser to the Knight-Gallup Trust, Media and Democracy research project. He was previously associate director of journalism research at the Pew Research Center.


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