Initiative could provide in-depth reporting across N.D.
An idea that sprung from the Future of Newspapers Committee is gaining steam: the potential for a nonprofit news service in North Dakota that would provide high-quality, in-depth reporting for all the state’s newspapers.
It’s a concept that’s been adopted in other states, and one that’s grown more popular in recent years. Neighboring South Dakota, with its South Dakota NewsWatch, and Minnesota, with Minnpost, are examples of nonprofits that have gained momentum and funding, and provide a host of quality content for use by those state’s newspapers.
Many of you have found the benefits of NDNAEF’s legislative intern stories, which provide thoughtful content from the Capitol, especially for papers who don’t have the staff power it takes to send a reporter to Bismarck to closely follow evolving legislation and other statewide issues. The concept of a nonprofit news service could work in much the same way, with reporting staff that work to cover the types of stories that appeal to people all across the state, and could help ease the burden of already stressed newsrooms.
The idea, which blossomed from discussions at the Future of Newspapers Committee, gained funding through a Bush Foundation grant through the Consensus Council. A consultant from Strengthen North Dakota began a feasibility study, and last week the nonprofit steering committee analyzed much of the work thus far. Now, the concept is being closely studied and pondered to determine what the next steps might be, and whether the idea could be put to work to the benefit of North Dakota news media.
While the media world is changing around us rapidly, various types of nonprofits working to deliver news have been gaining steam, and new funding sources specific to news media have really started to take hold. People across the globe have come to truly recognize the importance of reliable, truthful reporting, and readers and organizations are coming up with new ways to support it. Some new funding streams are following that trend, and could help an initiative such as this gain traction.