Discussion #5

1.) Is non-profit journalism any different than traditional journalism? Why or why not?

2.) What are the ethical considerations or disclosures about funding that non-profit outlets should be aware of and share with their readers? Are considerations different for an outlet based, in say, Marathon, Texas vs. Houston?

3.) What are some ethical considerations or disclosures about editorial content these kinds of outlets should be aware of and share with readers? How does an outlet maintain credibility and transparency?

4.) What income or revenue models do you think can be implemented for local news outlets to sustain their operations?

  1. Non-profit journalism operates without concern to make a profit because their operations are funded through donations or foundation grants. This is different from traditional journalism because, if they wanted to, non-profit news organizations would not have to sell ads to make ends-meet. For traditional outlets, they often have no choice.

2. Like with many non-profit organizations, non-profit journalism should be as transparent as possible — the rules of journalism shouldn’t change just because the budget is given instead of made. These outlets should disclose all contributions, big or small. I believe the considerations should be the same whether you’re in Podunk or Houston because the tenants of objectivity in journalism don’t depend on the size of news organization.

3. If a foundation makes a grant toward the University Press in exchange for good press (essentially the same as an ad), then it is the University Press’ responsibility to let their readers know why they are writing the things that they are. Now, if a foundation offer to give the UP a grant in exchange for the paper not covering a scandal or covering it in an unsatisfactory way, well, then there’s a problem.

It is my belief that no organization’s journalistic duty should be bought out by anyone. People deserve to know what is happening in the world around them. Money doesn’t make those issues go away.

4. As stated in Discussion #4, I think it would be useful for local news outlets to foster content partnerships. Not only does it create a more stable work environment, but journalists can also focus more on actual journalism than worrying about whether or not they’ll have a job next week.

Author: Olivia S. Malick

I'm currently a sophomore at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. I am the managing editor of The University Press which is the student-led, student-run newspaper of Lamar University. I have been a journalist for almost six years and it is my greatest passion in life. I love discovering the way the world works and showcasing the truth.

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