As local newspapers and their reporting and editing staffs continue to shrink, a perennial question has become even more relevant: How big is the new network of local sites springing up to provide serious local coverage?
The Institute for Nonprofit News, a group of 180 such organizations, took a stab at sizing the sector in a survey released Tuesday. The results are encouraging: estimated revenues of $325 million to $350 million and staffers numbering 3,000 — with 2,200 of those journalists.
The survey, called the INN Index, also quantifies the frequent claim that these organizations, unburdened by paper, presses and home delivery, can devote a much higher share of the money they take in toward reporting and editing. Two-thirds of resources go to editorial operations, according to the index, versus about 15 to 20 percent at a typical legacy newspaper.
That is a bit of a mixed blessing, however. INN has found that developing sites can hit a wall if they do add specialists at developing revenue streams like memberships and sponsored events.
Though still comparatively small, more than half of the organizations generated revenue of more than $500,000 in 2017 and a third topped more than $1 million. A 2015 INN survey found that fewer than a third hit the $500,000 mark and many were below $1 million.
Even as the organizations mature and continue to draw foundation support, the report suggests that there are several other areas for potential growth:
“Individual donors and particularly major donors are relatively undeveloped revenue sources for news nonprofits, making up one third
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/new-look-local-nonprofit-news-sites-finds-revenues-more-325-million-2200-journalists