Nonprofit news sites beginning their second decade might still get flashbacks to the bad old days of flailing around in pursuit of a viable business model. But now, writes Christine Schmidt for Neiman Lab, those days are over. It is not that nonprofit news sites don’t have to struggle to get launched and stable—they do—but now they have access to basic business models from which to choose, and that is thanks to philanthropies and major donors that not only provided money for experimentation but also helped build the systems to track and publish the results of those experiments in an extended partnership with the field.
Now, here come the Harvard Kennedy School and the News Revenue Hub with a guidebook based on all of that pioneering and often painful work from news outlets like the Voice of San Diego, Honolulu Civil Beat, VT Digger, and the Texas Tribune. Each has its own business model, based on its particular niche, capital, and community of supporters, but all can inform the next generation in a way that might lower the early mortality rate. (Nonprofit Quarterly)