Journalism: A New Model - The 2016 Scoop Foundation Membership DrivePress Release - For Immediate Release
The Scoop Foundation
The Scoop Foundation: the best chance to create an independent guardian for public interest journalism in NZ
The Scoop Foundation is seeking public support to safeguard the future of public interest journalism in New Zealand.
To ensure public access to comprehensive, free, timely news is maintained during this dark hour for journalism. And to provide every voice in NZ the opportunity to be heard in the national debate.
In the first half of 2016 news organisations everywhere were forced to take drastic measures to stay alive.
In March The Independent in the United Kingdom ceased publication of its print edition. It was a harbinger of a deepening global news crisis.
This week here in NZ the two largest news organisations have proposed a merger as their Australian owners simultaneously announce their intention to exit the NZ market. Massive journalism job losses now loom over an already battered profession. Even the UK Guardian, one of the world's largest digital publishers has had to announce layoffs.
With your support over the past 18 months Scoop has against enormous odds managed to create a new kind of news organisation, one based on a new model for funding journalism, not dependent on advertising, which offers the prospect of providing a long term sustainable platform to support the growth of a new generation of independent news publishers.
Everybody is invited to be part of this new future for news.
Last October and November Scoop reached the milestone of its first 1000 supporters.
The Scoop Foundation’s 1000 Kiwis who care about the future of independent news
A new era of public interest journalism needs the public - and that means you - at its heart.
In 2015 Scoop secured the support of 1000 Kiwis for the Scoop Foundation.
In May and June 2016 The Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism is conducting a membership drive and hopes to add another 1000 Kiwis to its band of supporters. As this is our 17th year of operations we are asking for donations from $17 to become a member of Scoop Foundation.
In this membership drive the Scoop Foundation is seeking 1000 new member donations. For this reason we have set our PledgeMe target at $17,000 (1,000 x $17).
Join a community that builds on the traditions of real investigative journalism and creates a better future for the news.
- Make a donation of $17 ($1 for each of our 17 years) or $52 ($1 a week for 12 months) and become a recognised Member of the Scoop Foundation for the next 12 months.
- Renew your membership of the Scoop Foundation for a donation starting drom $17.
- Make a donation of $95 or more and you’ll receive a gift and become a recognised Member of Scoop.
- Organisations who support free public access to independent and ethical media can donate and become a supporter or corporate member of Scoop.
Over the past two years structural changes in advertising markets have led to a rewriting of the NZ news industry map.
This was the background to the creation of the Scoop Foundation last year - generously supported by the 1000 Kiwis who supported the establishment of NZ’s first charitably owned news company. We have been able to make this transformation thanks to the strong support received last year from a wide group of supporters, and our new members in particular.
You kept our hopes alive and this is your enterprise, we are the custodians.
Thanks to you, the Scoop Foundation is positioned to become New Zealand’s first next generation digital publishing organisation.
Flashback: Scoop journey with PledgeMe to create NZ's first People's Media Organisation began in February 2015 on the steps of Parliament.
The Scoop Foundation Fundraising Goal, $60,000 & What We Will Use Funds For
While our target in this PledgeMe campaign is $17,000, the Foundation is aiming to raise $60,000.
We will split the funds we raise three ways:
- An initial round of public interest grants to support quality public interest journalism projects;
- Investment in long awaited technical upgrades, with
the first objectives being:
a) developing mobile phone and tablet friendly versions of Scoop [NOTE: this project has begun already, funds will enable us to complete it faster.]; and
b) building an API to enable 3rd party access to Scoop’s deep news archives;
- Supporting running costs of the Scoop Foundation and the Scoop Publishing Company.
Please join the 1000 Kiwis who care about the future of independent news by becoming a member of the Scoop Foundation
At the "Information Ethics & The Public Good" conference in October 2015 we asked attendees the question, "What Does Good Journalism mean To You?"
Why Good Journalism Matters
The news is broken. Whether it’s adverts disguised as news, trivia masquerading as real content or important news simply missing from the news feed. Something is wrong. As traditional advertising revenues dry up, publishers are being forced to dumb down or distort the news to keep their businesses alive.
And we are all suffering because of it.
Journalism matters. It’s the lifeblood of democracy. And that’s why Scoop built the Scoop Foundation to support public interest journalism guided by its commitment to:
- Seek Truth and Report It,
- Minimise Harm,
- Act Independently and Honestly,
- Be Accountable and Transparent.
People need news and information to take advantage of life’s opportunities for themselves and their families. They need information to participate in our system of self-government, to be heard. This is our vision and also that of democracy - openness, inclusion, participation, empowerment, and the common pursuit of truth and the public interest
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The New Scoop
Scoop’s New Model For Journalism
Over the past 18 months the team at Scoop have turned the news business on its head. Since the incorporation of the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism in September 2015, The New Scoop has been busy rebuilding itself internally around its new model which focuses on serving the interests of public interest news.
So far in our first 8 months as New Scoop we have:
- Focussed the transformation of the Scoop Foundation’s publishing business to achieving long term sustainability with a strategy based on three revenue models(two of which are new): subscription services, membership and philanthropic funding and Scoop’s pioneering commercial use licensing business model;
- Kept costs to a minimum by stripping costs back;
- Appointed a new editor and brought the editorial panel into operation;
- Appointed two new trustees (bringing the number to 4) and commenced charitable fundraising activity (which this campaign is part of);
- Appointed a new technical lead and begun assembling a team of volunteers and in-kind supporters to recommence technical development;
- Kept our core services running to grow Scoop’s readership and content and preserve the core value on which we are building The New Scoop;
- Run an internship programme providing opportunities for six young media professionals to learn the ropes of digital publishing.
Over the past 18 months - thanks to the generous support of 1,000 members of the New Zealand public the Scoop Foundation is now positioned to become New Zealand’s first next generation digital publishing organisation.
On the commercial side Scoop has moved from being 70% advertising funded in 2014 to under 20% advertising funded in 2016, an achievement that would not have been possible without public support.
Why A New Model For Journalism Is Needed
The digital advertising business model for news prioritises speed and clickworthyness over informing democracy and speaking truth to power.
Three out of four major commercial news publishers in NZ are targeting eyeball maximisation rather than highlighting important events in NZ on their hompages (Newshub is the notable exception apart from Scoop). But even so their digital advertising revenues do not come close to paying the costs of producing the real news that tends ot be buried deep within.
In NZ, as everywhere in the world, digital advertising revenues show no sign of being able to sustain serious news production. Meanwhile as news companies chase eyeballs for advertisers, public confidence in news organisations is collapsing.
In recent months the CEOs of both NZME (Jane Hastings, March 6th) and Mediaworks (Mark Weldon, May 4th) have both stepped down after implementing substantial cuts to newsroom head-count. Fairfax has so far kept its CEO but its Australian owners also want out.
This week a proposed NZME Fairfax merger signals the creation of a single giant newspaper company which will own the daily papers in every city in the NZ except Gisborne and Dunedin - and bring with it an estimated 750 more redundancies - the largest loss of Journalism jobs in NZ history.
Introducing The Scoop Team
The Scoop Foundation's trust board is made up of Margaret Thompson, Jan Rivers, Jeremy Rose and Alastair Thompson.
Our core editorial team consists of:
- Editor - Gordon Campbell
- News Editor - Lyndon Hood
- Deputy Editor - Ian Llewellyn
- Duty Editor - Jackie Little
- 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 Howard Davis.
On the technical side, our systems are kept running by technical lead Wiremu Demchick, sysadmin Andrew Thompson and technical advisor Finlay Thompson.
The inner circle of the wider Scoop network includes:
- Alison McCulloch - Scoop Review of Books
- Julie Webb-Pullman - Gaza.Scoop.ps
- Tom Frewen Reesh Lyon - Parliament Today
- Pattrick Smellie, Jonathan Underhill, Tina Morrison, Fiona Rotherham, Edwin Mitson, Sophie Boot and Paul McBeth - BusinessDesk & Business.Scoop