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Scoop's Solution to the News Crisis - The Scoop Foundation

Building a Sustainable Independent News Organisation for the People of New Zealand

A pitch from the Scoop Foundation team

The news is broken. As traditional advertising revenues dry up, New Zealand’s major news publishers are dumbing down or distorting the news to keep their businesses alive. The newly-formed Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism charitable trust is seeking your support for its solution to the news crisis.

In this campaign we’re seeking $50,000 from individual donors and targeting corporate and institutional donors for a further $50,000 in matching funds. If we're successful we'll be able to complete the establishment phase of the Scoop Foundation and it’s Scoop Publishing Company. In doing so we hope to significantly improve the outlook for freely accessible, timely, quality public interest news services in New Zealand.

Over the past 8 months, with the assistance of your pledges - initially to “Help Scoop To Fly” in February and March, and then during our “16 Days of Scoop” Crowd Selling 16th Birthday campaign selling Scoop Memberships - we have managed to turn around The Scoop Publishing Company’s business fortunes with an innovative new business model for funding news.

Scoop’s “ethical paywall”, launched in May, is an innovative approach to copyright which answers the challenge of funding public interest journalism. It’s not dependent on advertising, but instead creates a commercial incentive aligned to the Scoop Foundation’s purposes — encouraging and enabling publication of useful, quality, timely and ethical public interest journalism and information. More than 60 organisations — including Parliament, Govt. Departments, lawyers and a university — have already bought licences.

And Scoop Membership was launched at the end of June. So far we have over 300 Scoop Foundation financial members including one corporate member, NZ’s telecommunications company Spark New Zealand. Membership and corporate sponsorships appear to be a second useful new business model to secure the Scoop Foundation’s long-term future.

** Pledge to support the Scoop Foundation **

Why Have A Scoop Foundation?

So far the global #futureofnews effort has failed to deliver any reliable solutions to a news funding crisis caused by digital disruption of advertising markets. Those solutions which are being trialed are almost certainly not viable in a local news market the size of New Zealand's. Making thousands of journalists redundant and chasing reader eyeballs through click-bait, 30-second videos, and adding cats in the news stream — is not improving the situation. The solutions being proposed — paywalls and micro-payments — are unlikely to work at NZ scale.
Saving the news will need many solutions. All we know for certain, is that only innovation can get us there.

Scoop has been playing the role of news innovator since it started in 1999. We’ve built a remarkably strong network of New Zealand communicators and communications. We’ve networked blogs and built a platform which supports partnership publications including, Pacific.scoop Wellington.scoop and the Scoop Review of Books.

Our +500,000 monthly readers, millions of incoming links, and influential audience has made Scoop the ideal platform for developing a new business model for online news. We want to continue our collaborative role within the NZ news ecosystem, this role has been central to our efforts to transform Scoop into a not-for-profit over the past three years.

Click for big version

** Pledge to support the Scoop Foundation **

The Scoop Foundation Project - The Story So Far

Scoop launched the initial Scoop Foundation Project —- to create a charitable Trust to fund investigative news projects — in April 2013. 21 months later, in December 2014 “Operation Chrysalis”, a three-step plan to transform the privately owned Scoop publishing company into a not-for-profit foundation began. In 2015, 321 generous pledgers provided $36,874 to "facilitate the gift of from its current owners to a new structure".

Over the past six months these funds were used to:

  • Incorporate Scoop's Publishing business into the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism (in the first two weeks of September).
  • Develop and launch the sales effort behind an innovative new business model for news publishing — "Commercial Content Licensing".
  • Launch "Scoop Foundation Membership", a means of enabling readers and supporters to financially contribute towards making Scoop sustainable.
  • Enspiralise Scoop to make it more resilient and better able to scale by adopting organisational management and practices, and with the assistance of the Enspiral community.

Income from licence sales and memberships is growing rapidly and we're tracking towards becoming fully sustainable from licence and subscription revenue alone by May 2016.

In five months we've sold commercial use licenses to over 60 organisations including Government Departments, law firms, universities, corporates and PR firms, and recruited over 300 members. In September we launched a campaign to recruit members and contributors (people who actively help the Foundation) on an ongoing basis at

The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism was established on 2 September 2015

** Pledge to support the Scoop Foundation **

Introducing The Scoop Team

The Scoop Foundation's trustees, Margaret Thompson (formerly owner of and Alastair Thompson (director and editor of the Scoop Publishing Company) are in our video above.

Our core editorial team consists of:

  • News Editor - Lyndon Hood
  • Deputy Editor - Ian Llewellyn
  • Duty Editor - Jackie Little
  • Political Editor - Gordon Campbell
  • Political Reporter - Robert Kelly
  • Arts and Culture Editor - Howard Davis
  • Wellington Scoop Editor - Lindsay Shelton

Heading the Business Development Team is Steven Wood, assisted by sales assistant Olexander Barnes and accounts administrator Kristen Dowsett. Scoop's sales development and campaign work is supported by Enspiral network collaborators Damian Sligo-Green and Noshi Creative. On the technical side, our systems are kept running by Andrew Thompson and Wiremu Demchick.

The inner circle of the wider Scoop network also includes:

  • Alison McCulloch and Jeremy Rose - Scoop Review of Books
  • Professor David Robie - Pacific Scoop
  • Julie Webb-Pullman - Gaza Scoop
  • Tom Frewen, Ian Llewellyn and Reesh Lyon - Parliament Today
  • Pattrick Smellie, Jonathan Underhill, Tina Morrison, Fiona Rotherham, Suze Metherall and Paul McBeth - Business Scoop
  • Russell Brown and Fiona Rae - Public Address
  • Lynne Prentice - The Standard
  • Tim Watkin and Eleanor Black -
  • John Smythe -
  • Jane Kelsey & Ors. -

** Pledge to support the Scoop Foundation **

What We Want To Do Now

The Purposes of the Scoop Foundation

The Scoop Foundation’s immediate work programme includes:

  • Recruit additional trustees;
  • Establish systems to ensure compliance with statutory obligations;Establish a fund-raising team to solicit larger donations and grants from philanthropic institutions;
  • Create an independent, high trust learning community of news professionals (the “Fellowship of Scoop” Project);
  • Build systems to organise and engage with volunteer contributors and members;
  • Launch our first public interest investigative journalism project funding round.

Meanwhile the Scoop Publishing Company needs The Foundation’s assistance to invest in:

  • Recruit new social entrepreneurs to work in the core Scoop Team;
  • Develop the sales processes around the Commercial Licensing model;
  • Expand the editorial team;
  • Establish institutional partnerships to help Scoop grow.

** Pledge to support the Scoop Foundation **


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