The New Financial Model for Local News? How Does Disco Party Sound?

So let’s just envision a day in the not-too-distant future.  

Maybe you’re a hard-working, committed local tv newser with a passion to tell important stories about your community.  Maybe you’ve got the makings of a big story on toxic “hotspots,” for instance.  Now back in the day (remember, when we all had jobs?) you’d go to your boss at the tv station and say, “Boss, I’ve got a great story.  I need some time out of the mix, I need a photog for a few days,” etc.

Times have changed.  Now, you’ve got to find a way to tell your story without the Buick dealer picking up production costs.  So what’s the answer?  We’ve tossed around a lot of ideas, from “iTunes for News” to nonprofit models with endowments.  But ladies and gentlemen, we have the answer.  The “financial model” question has at last been answered.  So how do you pay for your toxic hotspot story in this not-too-distant future?

Disco party.


Breaking News One Kick-Ass Party at a Time

Well, at least, that’s how is paying for its toxic hotspot story.  The San Francisco new model nonprofit news site has turned to the community with a pitch:  we’ve got a story to tell that affects you, and if you’d be willing to pay a few bucks to help us get the story out there, we’ll spin some serious tunes (house, funk and space disco) and send you home with a belly full of Indian food.  Sound fair?

They call it a “news bash” and if you’re in the Bay Area tonight, you can check it out first hand.  Fifteen bucks in advance, twenty at the door.  Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar (naturally…these toxic hotspots stories don’t pay for themselves, folks) so drink up!

So why didn’t we think of this before?



Filed under Local News 2.0, Uncategorized

7 responses to “The New Financial Model for Local News? How Does Disco Party Sound?

  1. And we hope to do more in the future. Some events will be tailored differently depending on the story itself.

    Of course – the event tonight won’t pay for the entire reporting. We have raised $600 so far – which is still less than halfway. After the event fundraising will continue.

    But we are having a good time and helping to fund some good journalism along the way.

    Rock on!!

    • Dave,

      If I were out there tonight, I’d be there. I love it. I’d be very curious to know what kind of crowd turns out, and whether people can identify with the idea of having a good time for a good cause–reporting.

      Good luck tonight and have fun…and thanks for reading the site!


  2. cjn

    Will their sister sorority also be attending this mixer? I kid, I kid…

    This is a very interesting approach toward solving the industry-wide problem of dwindling budgets. Please let us know how it works out.

  3. chrisnh

    Everything in news today–TV or radio–has to be ‘Brought To You By’ some cash-paying entity. This is a sad development, and it will further chase away the eyeballs and ears of people utterly disgusted with this so-called ‘model.’ If your first inclination as a customer is to ask, ‘Who paid for this story?’, then the horse has left the barn. I know news organizations have jettisoned objectivity and balance in exchange for seeking spare change under sofa cushions, but please don’t cry us a river over your diminished ratings. YOU are the ones chasing us away.

  4. Pingback: Having Fun to Support Journalism - Post NewsBash Reporting Begins « Spot Us - “Community Funded Reporting”

  5. Don

    C’mon, TV has been there, done that. Anybody recall The Camel News Caravan? OK, I wasn’t born just yet, but the point is, somebody is always paying to bring viewers the news; even PBS has “supporters.” So I applaud those SF folks for thinking …. wait for it…. outside the box.

  6. kfarr

    David, kudos! I hope this first round went well!

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