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The Texas Tribune: Why, What, How U.C. Berkeley Media Tech Summit September 30, 2009. Commercial and Non-Profit Journalism: A Co-Existence Manifesto. Newspapers are not going away – not soon; maybe not ever However, growing fragmentation => growing Specialization Cooperation

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

The Texas Tribune: Why, What, How

U.C. Berkeley Media Tech Summit

September 30, 2009

commercial and non profit journalism a co existence manifesto
Commercial and Non-Profit Journalism: A Co-Existence Manifesto
  • Newspapers are not going away – not soon; maybe not ever
  • However, growing fragmentation => growing
    • Specialization
    • Cooperation
    • Insecurity of public service journalism
  • The Texas Tribune and our ilk are not a panacea, but we think we can help!
death taxes and advertising
Death, Taxes…and Advertising

Advertising % of GDP

Sources: Nieman Journalism Lab

secular decline of newspaper media share
Secular Decline of Newspaper Media Share

~ 2/3

Decline in

60 Years

% US Advertising Expenditures

Sources: Nieman Journalism Lab

and then it gets really ugly
And Then It Gets Really Ugly

Sources: Nieman Journalism Lab

fundamental challenges in the newspaper model
Fundamental Challenges in the Newspaper Model
  • Print
    • +/- 2/3 cost structure fixed
    • Negligible readership born after 1977
  • Online
    • General failure of “Display 1.0 – 3.0”
    • Single-digital print replacement rate
    • Unbundling
      • 80%+ news not navigated through home page
      • <5% of “Articles” are profitable

THE “IRON CORE” IS NOT PROFITABLE AND NEVER HAS BEEN

the difficulty of serving god mammon
The Difficulty of Serving God & Mammon

Sources: ContentNext Media and Pew Internet & American Life Project

personal conclusions
Personal Conclusions
  • Capital “J” Journalism is different
    • Curation
    • Consequential
    • Complexity
    • Context
  • Journalism is a “Public Good”
    • Market forces insufficient
    • Non-rivalrous
    • Government solutions neither likely nor ideal
  • Philanthropy can fill much of the void
  • States are where the action is
  • Courage
  • Civic
  • Choices
the power of the states
The Power of the States

The Special Case of Texas

Increasing Importance,

Declining Coverage

($ in Trillions)

  • Major demographic and income shifts
  • Unique state tax structure
  • Bottom decile
    • Infrastructure
    • Public health
    • Public education
    • Voter turnout

$3.2

National Defense

Social Security /

Medicaid / Medicare

Congressional

Discretionary

Spend

much left uncovered the texas tribune opportunity
Much Left Uncovered – the Texas Tribune Opportunity
  • Texas Legislature
  • District level politics
  • Lobby
  • Campaign finance
  • State Board of Education
  • State pension funds
  • University System
  • Public health
  • Border/Immigration
  • Race
  • Trade
  • Demographics
  • State tax policy
  • Transportation
  • State agencies
  • Elected judiciary
  • Energy industry
  • Technology industry
  • Real estate industry
  • Arts reviews
  • Major cultural institutions
  • Cultural criticism
  • Texas literature
  • Texas music
  • Environment
  • Texas congressional delegate

Local Dailies

City Hall

Local school districts

Crime

Real estate

Local/Small business

Ratings/Review

Weather

High School local sports

Big 4-5 Wire Service

International affairs

National politics

“Cabinet-Level” national

policy eg. Tresury, AG

Education, etc.

National business

Championship sports

National cultural

criticism

“NYT Sections”

the texas tribune
The Texas Tribune
  • MISSION
      • Help Texans make more informed civic choices
      • Build a great public media company
    • METHOD
      • Non-partisan, non-profit
      • Aggressive, original, “Capital J” journalism
      • Not just news…Knowledge and Understanding
      • Civic engagement as a (admittedly elusive) goal
      • Revenue promiscuity
      • Technology decisions: follow fast, fail faster
texastribune org
Texastribune.org

The Texas Tribune

texas tribune how seed capital campaign
Texas Tribune How: Seed Capital Campaign
  • $4.5m Target by end of 2010
  • $3.2m Raised
    • $1m Founders
    • $0.9m Foundations
    • $1.4m Individuals
  • $1.2m To Go

Texastribune.org

how the not so crazy dream
How: The Not-So-Crazy Dream
  • Texas dance = $40m business
  • Texas dance philanthropy = $20m
  • $20m of journalism philanthropy buys ~200 Reporters
      • 20 at the State Capitol
      • 20 on State agencies
      • 20 on the Lobby
      • 20 on the Border
      • 80 - - Leaves 120 for business, culture, etc.
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