Nonprofit Models That Work

center for public integrity cpi logoLooking for a job in journalism? Don’t discount the not-for-profits.

The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz reports on the growing trend of nonprofit news organizations that supply content to the cash-and-staff-strapped mainstream media.

Heck, the Center for Public Integrity recently added six journalists to its 45-person staff.

We see all our friends dying on the vine,” international director David Kaplan told Kurtz. “The irony is we’re doing pretty well, and we have a chance to fill these gaping holes.”

Of course, nonprofits, relying on donations and grants as they do, have their own issues: like writing a story that ticks off a donor. “We decide what we want to do and how we want to do it,” says Bill Buzenberg, the CPI’s executive director says, noting though that donors “may hate it and they may never fund us again, that’s their right.”

And so many of these nonprofits, though not the CPI, are so new it’s hard to tell whether they’ll still be employing journalists in 5 to ten years. The Texas Tribune just launched last year, and the well-funded Bay Citizen launched in 2010. Hardly enough time to prove a valid business model—but in the meantime, at least there are still some watchdogs.