Archive for the ‘#5 Not for Profit’ Category

Not All is Lost – Not for Profit

Posted: April 10, 2011 by Maria Acle in #5 Not for Profit

It is not new that some important stories that are worth publishing are not seen in for-profit news organizations every time. However, there is some hope in the end of the tunnel thanks to non-profit organizations such as NPR. This membership-driven news organization brings to the table amazing in-depth stories valuable to a democracy. They are mission-driven and they have managed to have high-quality content because they look at the many angles within a news story. This analysis is a bliss in a world were in-depth journalism is scarce.

While I was doing some research, I came across an interesting non-profit news organization based in New England, US. It is called New England Center for Investigative Reporting and what is interesting is that (more…)

…you mean it’s free?

Posted: March 19, 2011 by Leanne Osmond in #5 Not for Profit

One morning every week, usually a Wednesday, I get up and while I’m getting ready for the day I have the sweet sound of Ira Glass’ voice coming through my headphones.

This American Life is hands down one of my favourite podcasts and I wouldn’t have the same kind of access to it if it wasn’t for NPR’s not for profit business model. I would consider NPR to be one of the most successful not-for-profit media organizations out there and to have achieved that definitely deserves a high-five at the very least.

NPR relies on the donations of their members to keep operating. They’re known for producing high quality content, and the fact that they’re able to do this without charging their members a dime goes to show that when people really like something, they’re willing to pay for it. (more…)

Wikileaks Without A Sieve

Posted: March 16, 2011 by braillebone in #5 Not for Profit, #8 Wikileaks

.When Wikileaks is examined at the barest level, my opinion is that it has significant value. Simplistically, it serves the exact same purpose as investigative journalism: to publicize wrong and questionable behaviour and information by disabling its secrecy.

Its heart seems to be in the right place, although this is disputed for good reason. Critics speculate Wikileaks leader Julian Assange operated with a specific agenda, one that catered to more left-leaning people and politicians, attacking those with right of centre biases. The article I cited from The Independent, an online blog publication for independent journalists, says Assange undoubtedly operated with an end in mind, but also never claimed he didn’t, so it shouldn’t be such a shock.

This is precisely the reason Wikileaks cannot be called journalism; there is no sieve with which to sort through the overwhelming information, and thus it is much more difficult to draw any informed conclusions. What hasn’t changed is that it would never be proper practice to print or broadcast raw material without first putting it in context for news ingestion. Journalism’s raison d’etre is to sift through that raw material, balance it with other supplemental information explaining it, and in theory does not, by principle, have any sway or bias.

The change has come from the mass amounts of extremely sensitive information dumped on both journalists AND the public, like the 90,000 military documents on Afghanistan. This Reporter’s Roundtable video looks at the issues journalists faced with only having three weeks to sift through the information, making tough decisions under the watchful eye of the public; at this point, everyone was especially aware of Wikileaks.

Perhaps the role of the journalist has become increasingly demanding and significant because of what is now expected of them. Leaks of information are meaningful and necessary as sings the famous William Randolph Hearst quote: “News is something somebody doesn’t want printed; all else is advertising.” So, it is unarguably news. Assange seems to be the secret-sharing vigilante in the realm of journalism, but accredited journalists must now add taming sources like him in order to remain conscious of the possible consequences of failing to put his leaked information in context, and also included masking the identity of those named in the documents such as Afghani people who have been killed as a result of Wikileaks.

There are negative consequences to this sort of Pandora’s Box. It may not be fair to place the burden of decoding mass leaks courtesy of Julian Assange and his people on journalists, especially with tight deadlines, but there really seems to be no other viable option for churning out accurate and comprehensive news.

Not-for-profit not for long

Posted: February 18, 2011 by Alyssa Mosher in #5 Not for Profit


When I explore the idea of not-for-profit news organizations I wonder how great they really are. Looking at something like NPR, I see a website that has developed and I see a wide range of stories under a multi-medium of reporting. The layout of the page is simple, but interesting. The advertisements aren’t too flashy and seem to somehow go with the colour scheme of the design. It all looks great and reads great, but is it always going to be like this?

Not-for-profit or non-profit, however you want to put it, means there’s not extra “spending money” received. Organizations like NPR depend on the public’s donations to keep it alive. I find this too unsustainable, too dependent on what I always thought was a very fickle audience.

And that’s where the problem begins.


Not for Profit– Sam Kamras

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Samantha Kamras in #5 Not for Profit

There has always been an element of competition in journalism. The exact nature of the element has changed with the way media has changed, but it’s always been there. I can’t help but think of 9/11, when every broadcast network was showing footage of New York. The only real difference  was in who a network was interviewing, and in what angle their shot of the second plane hitting the second tower was at. Sure, some of this competition centered around who broke the story first, but after the story was told by someone, then it became about who told it best.

Just shy of 10 years later, the competition has changed completely. Now, it seems to only be about who gets the scoop. What’s more, it’s no longer just a competition between journalists. Citizens have entered the ring.


Not for Profit no longer an issue

Posted: February 16, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #5 Not for Profit


Take the money out of the news. A great and noble aspiration if there ever was one. It does away with several issues that plague the industry today. It effectively removes the news outlet from the race to the top in terms of gains and the all important bottom line. However, the nature of a not-for-profit organization steepens the incline in the struggle for equality against those with deep pockets. In its attempts for nobility and shedding its conflict of (more…)

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Mike Carter in #5 Not for Profit

A severe storm hit Britain in 1987. What was unique about this particular storm had nothing to do with Mother Nature. Some claim that the storm took the nation by surprise because of faulty whether equipment. Rowland Lorimer, the author of Mass Communication in Canada, begs to differ. Because the once national weather service had been privatized, only those who had subscribed to the top-level of service were aware of the coming storm. Margaret Thatcher’s attempts to create private knowledge-based industries on a foundation of public-sector information included no safeguard for public emergencies.

If you have stuck with me for this long you are probably asking yourself, neat story, but what does it have to do with non-profit news organizations?


Innovate or Die

Posted: February 16, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #5 Not for Profit

Tell any university student the industry they want to enter has no prospects. It probably won’t end well. Unfortunately, this is the type of message constantly sent to journalism students. While journalism becomes more accessible, employment seems to decline Accessibility, along with non-profit journalism is quickly transforming the operation of traditional news networks.

The Investigative News Network is an international network of over fifty non-profit news organizations, whose mission is to “serve the public interest to benefit our free society.” The organization argues that democracies need journalism to survive. Journalism [particularly investigative journalism] provides transparency and an open dialogue that lead to an informed population and furthermore, a more vibrant political regime. (more…)

Digital Media – Not for Profit?

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #5 Not for Profit

I just happened upon this a couple nights ago and thought it was interesting. It sort of applies to the course given the context they were placing on this ‘new way of learning’. I thought it could be very practically applied to the method that many journalists seem to advocate for.

As for non-profits PBS is probably one of the better models out there, given that while growing up, PBS perpetually seemed like it was on it’s last leg. Celebrities like Art Garfunkel, spent hours on Sunday afternoons convincing people that they needed public broadcasting, and thus the cycle had been drawn. But, somehow PBS did it right, and they have an amazingly interactive website, and the content has generally maintained it’s value, that “knowledge is power”.

PBS has likely left it’s smear on my brain, and besides the bawdy British humor,  I think I had a pretty interesting understanding of space, physics, and nature, provided by viewers like you. But however much I liked the station, as a Canadian Kid I never felt responsible to donate as I watched Simon or Garfunkle perform wispy poetry while people answered phones and made pledges behind them.

Although the idea hasn’t manifested itself into gilt just yet – it’s made me question their latest campaign against government cuts that will lead to Public Broadcasting’s funding to be cut. The ad currently on their website describing their situation is about 30 seconds long and ends with a hammer smashing a radio. It doesn’t feel effective, and here’s why. Mr. Rogers did a better job of it when he moved a senate member to goosbumps by reciting elements of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in a meeting held which discussed cuts to PBS’s funding back in 1969.

What I’m trying to get at here is that PBS has been around for a while, and although they have a lot going for them content and message wise, they still don’t always get it right.

The organization that I found this week was a not for profit set up by university professor and their students at the University of Huston. The website’s called World Internet News.  Although it may not be perfect, and although it may be in need of a face lift and a bolt of something to get it started, it remains a start up of a not for profit, which could be considered — “a viable news source.”

I like that I know that students wrote the articles, but that it can and will compete with serious journalism, because it wants to. There is something base about the instinct to survive, and can it be translated into how we deal with problems that arise apart from our apparent doom? I think that’s what the Not-for-profit gets down to at the core, does it have the stamina to survive using what little money it gets from public funding while exceeding expectations in terms of broadcasting standards. Some will survive, some won’t.


Non-Profit Media: NPR & MinnPost

Posted: February 16, 2011 by braillebone in #5 Not for Profit

NPR doesn’t have much substantial competition; they’re a multi-skilled media outlet capable of covering various news with a powerful reputation. To top it all off, they’re membership-driven, and are widely circulated through social media like Facebook and Twitter.

On Facebook, almost 1.5 million fans “like” NPR. This past Friday, they used their status update function to seek interview subjects who had experienced smoking “fake pot”. Over 1,100 people commented.

The dialogue wasn’t overly helpful in the sense that most comments weren’t volunteer efforts, but perhaps they generated a discussion about the validity of the story, suggesting the reporter was heading in the wrong direction. How interesting, that a reporter might (unsuccessfully) use a social media resource to find a subject, and be overwhelmed with potentially helpful responses on the content of the story…

The high number of responses to an NPR status update isn’t unusual. Members are consistently linked in to the efficiently updated online news. The site and its social media connections are well-kept and promoted, which is especially key in maintaining a happy group of members who pay the bills.

NPR is supported by foundation grants, personal member donations, and corporate sponsors. Public Service Announcements are injected in radio podcasts such as This American Life, urging listeners to donate what they can to ensure the quality of NPR broadcasting continues.

“MinnPost”, a non-profit online publication based in Minnesota. Their aim, like all other non-profit media organizations, is to “create a sustainable business model for this kind of journalism, supported by corporate sponsors, advertisers, and members who make annual donations. High-quality journalism is a community asset that sustains democracy and quality of life, and we need people who believe in it to support our work.”

Like NPR, MinnPost is member-supported and relies heavily on donations. Upwards of 2,300 members made donations to the three-year-old publication between $10 and $20,000 per year.

Their site features multimedia stories from the Minnesota region, as well as international, arts, political, and “community voices” , a section about community issues ranging from regional to international.

Both NPR and MinnPost demand member support so they may continue to produce high-quality, honest journalism while avoiding catering to advertisers’ agendas. The recent uprising of such publications is both surprising and refreshing in the age of recession and cynicism; people still want quality news, and are willing to pay the price.

#5 Not For Profit – The Media Co-op and

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Adam Hodnett in #5 Not for Profit informed me that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankerfein tripled his salary from $600,000 to $2 million during the Egyptian uprising. is a Canadian nonprofit, independent media source that has been making a point lately of giving attention to important news that have been overshadowed by Egypt. and the Media Co-op, are the two major nonprofit news sources that I know of in Canada, and they both strive to report on issues neglected by the “mainstream media.”


Go forward, young journalist

Posted: February 15, 2011 by Karissa Donkin in #5 Not for Profit

Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!” – Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison wasn’t talking about the media when he said that. But I think parts of the quote are useful when talking about the media.

The internet showed up and changed the way we do business, period. Technology has changed the way we consume television, movies and books, it’s changed where we go for music (and how we consume that, too) and most importantly, it’s changed how we get our news. (more…)

#5 Not-For Profit News Source: Joggers

Posted: February 15, 2011 by Alex Vietinghoff in #5 Not for Profit

I’m going to state the obvious here, with the first not-for-profit news source that comes to mind:  Bloggers.  Ther’s been debate about whether or not they are actual news sources, but they have sometimes found/uploaded stories before the big networks.  Sometimes the big networks use their footage or photos. 


Not for Profit – Melissa Dickinson

Posted: February 15, 2011 by melissadickinson in #5 Not for Profit

St. Louis Beacon

The St. Louis Beacon is a not-for-profit news organization that aims at reporting news that matters to its readers. In browsing this online news publication, I appreciated all the information that was all but a mouse click away that gave me an in depth look at everything the St. Louis Beacon has set out to do. Everything from their mission to an extensive look at their ethics policy is easy to navigate to in their clearly marked website. In addition, their support page was so easy to find. It is clearly labeled at the top of the page with all the other categories of news as “Support the Beacon.” I am really impressed with how organized and put together this site is. And for someone who doesn’t often log into online media organizations, I would have no problem coming back to the St. Louis Beacon for another visit in the near future.

Personally, I enjoy much more reading news organizations that are focused in a localized area. I like reading news that affects me and sparks my personal interest. Though the journalism may not be that great (like that of my small hometown newspaper “The Bugle-Observer”), I enjoy reading about the news stories that hit close to home. So, when I stumbled upon the St. Louis Beacon, a news story headlined as “Families oppose bill that would close habilitation centers” really sparked my interest. I appreciated Robert Joiner’s decision to start the story with the stories of two woman who are affected by this story. It immediately engages the reader, and has them wanting to read more to become more familiar with the stories of the two women and their families.


NPR is a not-for-profit news organization that prides itself in distributing “award-winning news, information and music programming to a network of 900 independent stations.” Thought this site delivers a comprehensive and wide variety of journalism, I find it hard to navigate through. Especially if you are on a mission to find more about the organization itself. Unlike the St. Louis Beacon, in order to find out the mission and the purpose of this news organization, I had to scroll to the bottom of the page and navigate through category after category of information just to find out that this organization is not-for -profit. Though some may view this way of organizational filing as more efficient, I honestly found my patience drawing thin because all I wanted to know was the aims and missions of this organization. Maybe I’m being too unjust, but I found it similar to researching for a paper and becoming frustrated because you know what your thinking is right, you just need the proof.

In addition, as a donator or supporter, I would find it very frustrating to locate the support page. And once you do find it, you have to open page after page after page only to be asked what your zip code is.

Where NPR and the St. Louis Beacon differ the most is their variety and selection of news being covered. However, this can be solely based on the fact that the St. Louis Beacon is delivering news that matters to its audiences (which is most likely aimed at the citizens of St. Louis, don’t you think?) Nevertheless, both organizations are excelling in what they have set out to do and I’ll definitely be back to visit both sites soon.



Not For Profits are Trying Their Best

Posted: February 15, 2011 by Joanne Goodall in #5 Not for Profit

Not for Profit News Organizations

The Voice of San Diego (

When you open the homepage for Voice of San Diego, it is bright, colourful, and easy to work through and read article that you find interesting. The large photo window grabs your attention, especially its current photo of artists in front of their large painting. The headline font is a bit too small for me. I prefer the font to be large, bold, and catchy if it is on the web because it’s easier to read and to decipher what sounds interesting.


#5 Not-for-Profit – Sharon Fawcett

Posted: February 11, 2011 by sharonfawcett in #5 Not for Profit

Twenty-two year-old Masua Abaneru, a father and a fisherman, was kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced to serve as a porter. When he grew too weak to be of use to them any longer, LRA soldiers dragged him into the jungle. Then, they ordered captive children armed with sticks to beat him to death. Masua survived, but bears the brutal reminder of his ordeal on the back of his head.

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting tells Masua’s story in the project “The Lord’s Resistance Army: The Hunt for Africa’s Most Wanted.” It includes articles, videos, blogs, and slide shows.  (more…)

# 5 Not for Profit

Posted: February 9, 2011 by Philip Lee in #5 Not for Profit

One of the most interesting developments in the Reporting 2.0 world has been the work of not for profit, membership driven news organizations. Comment on the work of two of these organizations, either the long-established NPR and its expansion into social media, or the more recent upstarts such as the Voice of San Diego or the Texas Tribune. Better yet, point us to new sources we have not yet encountered. Dig them out. Post them here. Due Wednesday February 16 before class.