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Non-profits making a difference in news

A newsroom

As part of my roundup of Giving Tuesday suggestions the other day, I mentioned a few non-profit media organizations that I’ve recently donated to. Of course, as soon as I hit publish, I realized there were more that I wanted to highlight.

In particular, I think it’s worth talking about smaller ecosystem organizations rather than newsrooms. These are non-profits that help newsrooms to improve the way they work, their technology, experiment on revenue, or other activities that help make a stronger news ecosystem overall. If you’re not in the space, you probably haven’t heard of them — and they’re all doing notable work.

When I embarked upon building this list, I assumed there would be more entries. It turns out, there were: it’s just that many of them have disappeared. I’ve also chosen not to include for-profit ventures, large organizations like the Knight Foundation or the Press Forward coalition, or organizations that are initiatives of colleges and universities like the Brown Institute for Media Innovation’s Local News Lab.

Each of the following is a small US non-profit that helps makes a difference for journalism. If you think I missed an important organization, let me know and I’ll try to correct in a future post.

OpenNews creates spaces and communities for journalists who are changing the way their newsrooms operate (something that is a prerequisite for newsrooms to be successful in the internet era). Its SRCCON event is a legendary space for journalists to share more about how they work with each other. Its other programs include the DEI Coalition For Anti-Racist, Equitable, And Just Newsrooms.

News Revenue Hub helps news organizations to make their journalism freely available while raising funds through patronage. Its News Revenue Engine software simplifies revenue operations by integrating with other widely-used software, but perhaps its biggest contribution is consulting and sharing best practices for fundraising.

The Open Notebook helps science journalists improve their skills through training, mentorship, and community-building. At a time when most of our most consequential stories — the climate crisis, AI — are rooted in science and technology, conveying details accurately and accessibly is more important than ever before. The Open Notebook helps get us there.

Tiny News Collective helps underrepresented founders and journalists to build newsrooms that reflect and serve their communities. They provide resources, training, support, and technology to further that goal.

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