2017 Session Recap:
- New online-only start-ups are blossoming in communities around the U.S.
- Why start?
o Traditional news media has left gaps in local content. These gaps have created a space for alternative news media outlets to grow and thrive.
o Traditional news media has traditionally focused on the negative content in the community (crime, legal, etc.), leaving room for alternative coverage in the community.
o As staff has been cut at traditional media, leadership roles have been left vacant in the community and can be filled by new entrants.
- There is a lot of room for start-ups in the field, but they need to have a business model that will work to succeed.
o Foundation / grant funding can cover some costs, but it is not assured. Just because they support you today, does not mean they will support you tomorrow.
o As start-ups connect with the community, they can seek non-banner monetization (e.g. events).
o Membership Model: Offering exclusive ways for members / readers to engage with the organization (reporter access, social events, story suggestions, etc.) in exchange for a membership fee.
- Unique model from Richland Source (Ohio): Offer Pillar Membership where members can “donate” advertising to the charity of their choice.