Do you think nonprofit journalism’s reliance on philanthropic donors and sponsors leads to a tendency to tone down potential criticism of funders or even of the entire spectrum of philanthropic support?
via Nonprofit Quarterly:
The author, Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon, draws on a blog posting by journalist Stephen Robert Morse suggesting a couple of problems with the nonprofit business model of the Austin-based Texas Tribune. According to Beaujon, Morse argues that regular newspaper journalists now have to compete with “bigger name Tribune journalists whose work newspapers can run for free.” He also contends that a nonprofit newspaper like The Texas Tribune, dependent on sponsors and grants, is not likely to “do anything that might cheese off its sponsors.
FJP: It’s an ongoing debate. Thoughts?
The criticism of the Tribune, warranted or not (and I lean toward not), is the same criticism that can be fielded toward for-profit newspapers and their advertisers. The fact of the matter is that the Tribune is providing innovative, quality multimedia coverage that is unmatched by any Texas paper’s newsroom. Nonprofit journalism outfits like the Tribune are just another threat to a flagging newspaper industry that continually refuses to innovate its business model or its reporting. This criticism is jealousy and nothing else.