Solutions Journalism Network Partners with News Revenue Hub on Sustainability Training
We are excited to announce News Revenue Hub is leading a 12-week revenue and sustainability course for Solutions Journalism Network collaboratives that are part of The Local Media Project.
The Local Media Project is an initiative launched by Solutions Journalism Network in 2019 to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. Collaborations are formed by media organizations operating in the same city or geographic region. The project receives support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as well as the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.
In line with Solutions Journalism Network’s mission, each collaborative chooses a pressing challenge facing their community and reports on it through a solutions journalism lens. The goal is to change the prevailing negative narrative around the issue, while also equipping communities with the knowledge necessary to envision and build a more equitable and sustainable world.
Collaboratives complete a two-year residency with The Local Media Project. During this time they receive funding from Solutions Journalism Network, as well as coaching for the project manager hired by the collaborative.. At the end of the two years the collaboratives can choose whether to continue the project independently, but to do so they need to have a plan to financially sustain themselves.
Projects include the Great Salt Lake Collaborative — made up of 23 news, education and media organizations — focused on how Utah’s Great Salt Lake is drying up and what can be done to make a difference, and the now-independent Charlotte Journalism Collaborative focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“The folks at Solutions Journalism Network know how to make collaborations work. This leads to some really amazing things from an editorial perspective. We want to help their collaborations think about what they need to do to be sustainable on their own and help set them up for success once they complete their grants,” said Rachel Glickhouse, the Hub’s Director of Learnings and Labs. “We know that it’s possible because Resolve Philly is an SJN project that became its own fully fledged organization.”
Many of the collaborations that continue their work rely on major donations from philanthropy, but depending on a single funding source decreases the likelihood of long-term sustainability. That’s where the Hub comes in.
“Solutions Journalism Network chose to work with News Revenue Hub because of the Hub’s outstanding reputation for supporting local news organizations that work to shore up financial support for their futures,” said Amy Maestas, director of Local Media Project.
The Hub’s 12-week course walks the partner organizations through the fundamentals of fundraising and sustainability in media. The curriculum, designed by Hub staff, includes guidance on how to fundraise, diversify revenue revenue, set goals, design community-centered products (like newsletters) and grow their audience.
“I’m a really big fan of the Solutions Journalism Network in general, but especially their approach to collaborations and showing the industry that doing these types of projects are possible and that they can be really successful,” Glickhouse said.
“And I think making them sustainable would be a really great feat because collaborations are often short lived, because of exactly these funding reasons. So I think finding long-term ways for organizations to work together is the future of this industry. Whatever we can do to help that process will be a big achievement,” Glickhouse said.