The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism
A New Beginning For Scoop
A message from the New Scoop Team — 10 September 2015
On December 19th 2014 the Scoop Team set out on a project called "Operation Chrysalis". We decided to turn Scoop's 16 year old online news publishing business into a new kind of news business, one connected directly to its readers, owned by a not-for-profit and based on a new business model.
On September 16th, 10 months later, it will be day one of New Scoop. Scoop's operating company will be transferred into a charitable trust dedicated to promoting public interest Journalism called the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism.
The New Scoop publishing company will shortly adopt a new constitution which will add further protections around editorial integrity.
Today we launched a website and public campaign to announce the fruits of our work at takebackthenews.nz . All our readers, and indeed all New Zealanders, are invited to participate in the future of the Scoop project.
With the use of an infographic this document sets out how the New Scoop structure is designed and intended to work.
New Scoop Explained in an Infographic
To help explain how New Scoop will work — and how interested people and organisations can become involved if they are interested — Scoop's designer Scott Broadley has drawn us an infographic that sets out the key relationships which lie behind the new not-for-profit structure.
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The Challenge of Scoop — Creating a Village
The challenge of Scoop is one of coming together for a common purpose — to protect and preserve the function and values of professional news in NZ society during a period of great economic disruption to the news industry. On Day One, 16th September, New Scoop will begin again as a start-up, albeit one which is a little over 16 years old and which already has substantial income and 500,000 monthly readers.
Below you will find an explanation which breaks down each of the four main components:
1. New Scoop's relationship with its readers, writers and submitters
2. The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism
3. The Scoop Publishing Company Ltd
4. New Scoop's Environs, The Enspiral Village
New Scoop's relationship with its readers, writers and submitters
The good news for all those of you who rely on Scoop to publish your press releases, and/or provide you with up to the minute news about what is going on in NZ is that nothing is changing around Scoop's basic operations. We will continue to publish press releases for free according to our publishing policy. And Scoop will continue to be publicly accessible.
New Scoop will remain true to Scoop's mission to provide inclusive, timely and independent news to all. Information is power, it is valuable, and it must be freely available to all citizens for a democracy to be healthy.
An opportunity to be involved
The main difference about New Scoop for readers, writers and submitters is the nature of the relationships it will be possible to have with the Scoop Foundation.
You will see on our new.scoop.co.nz page that there is an opportunity to join in with the Scoop Foundation project as either "Members" and "Contributors". Membership and Contributorship are not mutually exclusive and people can choose to be both, Contributors will provide practical support, members, financial support..
Everybody is invited to become more deeply involved in New Scoop as a Contributor. If you have time, skills or energy to assist us we will try to find a way for you to help. New Scoop will need a village to support it, and if you are willing to be part of that village then we are keen to hear from you.
Those who wish to support the New Scoop project financially are invited to become Members. As this is published the Scoop Foundation already has 260 Members, people who made a financial contribution to support the Scoop transformation project over the past seven months. Scoop's Members will have an opportunity to participate in discussions around the formation of New Scoop. It costs as little as $16 to join and everybody is welcome.
Members and Contributors to Scoop will have club houses, in the form of a Loomio* Groups and mailing lists to keep them informed and provide opportunities for engagement with the trustees, editorial panel and each other. In addition the Trust will provide an annual report to Scoop Foundation Members and Scoop Foundation Contributors.
* Loomio.org is a collective decision making platform developed at Enspiral
The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism
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The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism is a charitable trust and the legal heart of the New Scoop project. It is the owner of The New Scoop Publishing Company.
The purposes of the Trust are to promote and generate funding for investigative and public interest journalism. The foundation will be supported by membership income, donation income and by its commercial subsidiaries, the Scoop Publishing Company and any other business that develops in the News Businesses Nursery.
An application has been made to the Charities Board for registration of the trust as a charity. This application is expected to take at least two months to be considered.
The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism provides Scoop Publishing Ltd. with:
- A not-for-profit legal structure
- A focus for people to support independent journalism
- Oversight of the ethical basis of its public interest journalism practice
- The ability to harness public support for public interest journalism
The role of the Scoop Foundation is defined in the trust deed (which can be viewed here). The purposes of the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism, as set out in the Trust Deed,are to:
1.1 educate the public in New Zealand about the role and function of independent journalism in an open, democratic society;
1.2 fund reporting and journalistic investigation which educates and informs the New Zealand public about:
(a) society, government, public institutions and officials; and
(b) private corporations, voluntary organisations and individuals that affect the public and the ability to participate in public decision making;
1.3 provide education and public information about the journalistic culture in New Zealand based on fairness, accuracy and comprehensiveness;
1.4 fund and assist publications and activities which support and promote the above purposes.
The Scoop Foundation Kaitiaki will be responsible for appointing the trustees. The Kaitiaki are a group of people with understanding of the Scoop mission and history, and a commitment to the principles of public interest journalism.
The Scoop Publishing Company Ltd.
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The Scoop Publishing Company is the business which until now has been the publisher of Scoop.co.nz and the employer of Scoop's staff. Scoop Publishing will continue to provide the primary public interface between Scoop and its external networks in the community, its content partners and allies and its clients — as it has for the past 16 years.
You can read a draft constitution for the company here — it is a basic company constitution. The unique aspect of this company is that it will operate alongside the Scoop Foundation Trust Deed to protect the independence and integrity of the editorial side of Scoop's activities, as detailed in the Trust Deed. As well as a regular commercial board the company will have an Editorial Panel and editors whose editorial independence is protected by interlocking provisions in the company constitution and the trust deed.
Publishing Ltd provides the Scoop Foundation for Public
Interest Journalism with:
- A voice
- An audience
- A publishing infrastructure
The company will earn the revenue it needs to pay for its news publishing activities from selling services, including Scoop’s innovative new Commercial Use licences. At the point that it is able to generate surpluses these will be returned to the Scoop Foundation for use in the furtherance of its charitable purposes.
Achieving Sustainability — Scoop's Commercial Use Licensing Changes
For organisations and individuals who regularly use Scoop.co.nz as a resource for work or professional purposes, Scoop's new Commercial Use licensing business model requires the purchase of a Commercial Use licence.
By charging our many commercial users a modest fee for their use of Scoop we are able to cover the costs of providing Scoop's publishing activities and thereby maintain public access to a high quality news service which enables them to participate in an informed manner in NZ society.
Importantly the audience that this publishing activity brings is some 500,000 users a month. This provides the platform upon which the Foundation hopes to build a thriving news eco-system in coming years.
New Scoop's Environs, The Enspiral Village
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For New Scoop to thrive it will need to become a lively, supportive, fun and rewarding place for people to invest their energy and time.
A lot of the thinking we did about how to achieve this has been shaped by Scoop's collaboration with the Enspiral Network.
As you can see in the diagram Scoop is part of the Enspiral Village. On Enspiral.com you will see that Enspiral is: "a virtual and physical network of companies and professionals working together to create a thriving society"
In February Scoop.co.nz was honoured to be accepted as one of the companies which are considered Enspiral Ventures. Another of the Enspiral Ventures, Loomio, has built a tool for collaborative decision making which Scoop has been using for its online community — and which will play a key role in the governance and organisation of the Scoop Foundation. Another Enspiral tool, Cobudget, enables collaborative budget setting.
One of the stated objectives of the Scoop Foundation in its trust deed is to support and nurture emerging news related businesses.
We are interested to hear from organisations or individuals who would like to build new businesses which leverage Scoops' audience and content to assist us to generate sustainable public interest news outcomes.
We already have several ideas for Scoop related business on the table already including:
- An open source systems company which helps news startups use the technologies and replicate the business processes that Scoop has developed
- A news intelligence business which builds on the base created by Scoop's pioneering Newsagent filtered news-by-email services
- Scoop Academy (a partnership with Enspiral Academy) — a school to train and equip citizen journalists
- Scoop Labs (a partnership with Enspiral Dev Academy) — an incubator to build, deploy and test new news technologies
- A digital campaign communications agency
News media as we know it is going through a period of extreme disruption. It will either evolve or disappear.
We, the team at Scoop.co.nz, have transformed Scoop over the past 10 months into a structure which is capable of delivering sustainable, independent, public interest news outcomes in this very difficult period.
The new we, New Scoop, ia a not-for-profit social enterprise, embedded in an independent Charitable Trust. The structure has community/crowd linkages and safe stakeholder relationships built in as design features. The purposes of the Trust are educational — to promote and fund investigative and public interest journalism.
New Scoop will be supported by the Enspiral Network and, in time, the new network that it creates around itself, to build new business leveraging Scoops' audience and content.
And all this is made commercially viable by a new business model — commercial use licensing/Ethical Paywall and Membership subscriptions and Donations. The old advertising business model incentivises media companies to publish material which attracts eyeballs. New Scoop by contrast is incentivised to provide quality ethical news services of the very kind which the public is showing very clearly that it is upset about losing.
We are a bunch of doers, but for this to work we need your support.
This is only the end of the beginning.