“If, instead of scrapping over news initiatives, the four or five leading technology companies could donate $1 billion in endowment each for a new type of engine for independent journalism, it would be more significant a contribution than a thousand scattered initiatives put together. (See Steven Waldman’s piece in The New York Times today for one possible breakdown of what this would look like.) Would anyone want to work for a tech-funded news organization of this type? To be truly independent the endowment would have to be just that, a gift that is managed and administrated by a board of trustees. Some of the most successful institutions in the US are its private, nonprofit universities, which have a similar structure of endowment and independence.”
“The reason we find ourselves in this mess with ubiquitous surveillance, filter bubbles, and fake news (propaganda) is precisely due to the utter and complete destruction of the public sphere by an oligopoly of private infrastructure that poses as public space.
“But we’re not telling any of these stories just because there’s space to fill in your day. We’re telling them because we think there’s a whole other narrative happening in the world that’s unseen, underreported, or dismissed altogether. We also are just really psyched to build new, weird things on the internet.”
“The report includes:
An overview of the hyperlocal ecosystem, including a country-by-country analysis.
An overview of the different legal business structures available to hyperlocal media services, including the potential advantages and limitations of these.
An analysis of current and emerging revenue streams being used by hyperlocal publishers, with a focus on 35 case studies from Europe.
An assessment of which of these are most feasible, reliable or lucrative.
An examination of changes to the wider advertising and online industry.
Emerging trends and innovations in revenue creation and capture in and beyond Europe.
Recommendations for policymakers, industry and hyperlocal publishers in relation to gaps, opportunities and areas of growth.”
“These findings matter because conventional newspapers, for all their shortcomings, remain the best source of information about the workings of our government, of industry, and of the major institutions that dominate our lives. They still publish a disproportionate amount of the accountability journalism available, a function that’s not being fully replaced by online newcomers or the nonprofit entities that have popped up. If we give up the print newspaper for dead, accepting its demise without a fight, we stand to lose one of the vital bulwarks that protect and sustain our culture.”