The newly released 2012 State of the Media report provides an in-depth look at how community news sites are faring.
The report, released by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism interviewed key experts in the industry, including Knight’s Eric Newton and Michele McLellan, journalist and Knight consultant.
Here are some highlights:
Community news sites need to develop multiple revenue streams, the report said: “The most successful (and therefore sustainable), sites are those with a range of revenue streams, which can include local foundations, advertising, subscriptions, special events and membership campaigns, for example.”
Newton told Pew: “The more varied the sources of revenue, the better.”
The emphasis on diversified revenue streams expands on a Knight Foundation on how nonprofit news ventures seek sustainability. The report looked at some of the country’s leading online local nonprofit news ventures, and concluded that successful news organizations – even the nonprofit ones - have to act like digital businesses, particularly making revenue experimentation an important piece of the mix.