Re-modelling revenues for web-indigenous journalism

Finding a resilient revenue model for web-indigenous journalism is one of the hardest challenges yet without a functioning income stream the long-term future of plural media is in question. Therefore it is a pressing concern to better understand workable revenues and where new opportunities may lie. For community-driven news organisations, reader revenue is an increasingly popular business strategy. More newsrooms across Europe are shifting their focus to direct- compared to in-direct models. However, sometimes the exploration of what reader revenue can look like for a given organisation doesn’t go much beyond choosing one of the traditional tried-and-tested approaches (membership, subscription or crowdfunding). This action research project guides participants to explore the key elements needed, internally and externally, for asking for financial support from the community; what combination of reader revenue could serve them best; and most importantly, how reader revenue should be constructed according to the value proposition of the organisation. 

This action research has been designed to establish the key processes and stages that media organisations need to go through to assess the viability of reader revenues for their organisation gain a better communal sense of practical challenges and opportunities around reader revenues
test and output how to explore, expand or exploit direct-pay models

The Reader Revenue Canvas and Cards is for journalism professionals and has been designed which uses an ACTIVE reader revenue toolkit. This new methodology identifies key opportunities and challenges in the critical areas of Audience, Content,Trust, Ideals, Value, and Engagement. The toolkit is made up of a series of cards and questions as well as a canvas of notes to take away. Users leave with a clear sense of what readier revenue options are best suited for their organisation. It is available in English and Russian and has been used with Belarusian and European media.

PI: Clare Cook

Partners: Engaged Journalism Accelerator

Funder: Engaged Journalism Accelerator; IREX