Here’s how you can be part of a $700,000 experiment in building membership models around the world

“Membership” is one of the better buzzwords of the media industry today, hopefully; experiments in a post-advertising, reader-revenue-driven market are the newer, healthier “pivot to video.” But the problem that has dogged the news ecosystem remains: How are you going to pay for it (until, you know, members ideally chip in enough to make the…

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“The smart phone screen is the only screen in some communities”: Local news’ digital adaptation

The Coastal Courier is a weekly community newspaper in Georgia with an office on Main Street — and a VR channel. “Are they adequately meeting the information needs with their technology?” Jesse Holcomb wondered. “Are they carving out a space on social platforms or avoiding them altogether?” Holcomb, a Calvin College professor and former Pew…

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Here are the local news organizations boosted in Facebook’s membership accelerator

After leading a cohort of metropolitan newspapers through a subscriptions accelerator this year, Facebook is now kicking off its next round, focused this time on membership in nonprofit and digital-only local news organizations. The membership accelerator, now one of three different threads in Facebook’s olive-branch programming for local news, started with an in-person gathering in…

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Venture philanthropy for local news might not be as scary as it sounds

An incomplete list of attempts to finance local news: For-profit newspapers and TV stations siphoning advertising dollars Billionaire benefactors who don’t always play nice and/or play music Started-from-scratch scraggly independent outlets started by bought-out or laid-off reporters A chain-based model scattered across towns with appealing demographics Organizations drawing support solely from foundations and crossing fingers…

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