Thursday, January 21, 2010
I recently blogged about Robert Lang's effort to urge marginally profitable newspapers to consider re-forming as L3Cs and staying afloat, at least in part, by seeking program related investments from private foundations. A recent interview in the Nonprofit Quarterly with Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Pew Research Center's Project on Excellence in Journalism, discusses the possibility that more newspapers will seek nonprofit status and try to keep their heads above water by soliciting grants and contributions. As was true of Lang, Jerkowitz emphasizes that serious investigative journalism (as opposed to entertainment-oriented "geyser journalism") is essential to maintaining a healthy democracy, and that the old model of for-profit newspapers funded by advertising revenue is no longer viable in the internet age. The solution, according to Jerkowitz, might be a new breed of nonprofit journalism outlets dedicated to the public purpose of careful, serious news gathering.