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New Public

Local news for national audiences. Local amplified.

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ABOUT

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New Public is a distributed national newsroom powered by independent journalists and local news media that cover the places and topics they know best.

 It is a way of producing news that allows decision-making about what counts to rest in the hands of people closest to the communities they cover.

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WHY? BECAUSE IT'S TIME FOR A NEW WAY FORWARD

New Public changes who gets to tell our national story. We believe that in order to achieve great news coverage of a diverse country, we have to work with people who know the communities and topics they cover. The hub of national news is not by definition New York City or Washington D.C. It is Wichita, Kansas and Tucson, Arizona. It is Taos County and Bemidji, Minnesota. National news happens at the local level and New Public will invest in telling stories that reflect this broad reality.

New Public is a new way of doing journalism. Our organization is diverse and inclusive from the start. New Public will be a place not only to consume news, but for people most affected by the news to pitch and create content with professional journalists. It will incorporate the decades of learning by our editorial team, and their incredible network of talented journalists, on how to build online communities and give them a stake in the news. The holistic process will include training, mentorship and peer networking.

New Public builds the infrastructure we need to create equity in journalism. We are building an open-source project management tool to support virtual collaboration between editors, reporters and sound engineers. The system allows for fair licensing, compensation and protections for journalists to enable a different news economy that puts more revenue in the hands of the people doing the work. 

212

The number of editors we are networking with to build New Public

The number of editors we are networking with to build New Public

64

The number of journalists who have signed on to work with us

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So many newsrooms are too focused on getting internal ‘buy-in’ when it comes to diversifying sources and holding themselves accountable to meet the needs of under-reported communities. Our industry does not have time for buy-in, and New Public recognizes this. The old-school, overly formal, top down nature of newsrooms gets in the way of reporting as a means to examine and hold historically oppressive systems to account. In time, super-serving white audiences and keeping their interests and comfort at the forefront will bring traditional public media to its knees. Now is the time for an alternative that serves, values and embodies audiences that continue to be 'othered' by the mainstream.

Consuela "Sway" Steward

Founding member of the
Public Media For All Coalition

HOW IT WORKS

CONTENT

We commission, co-produce, and license stories from independent journalists and local outlets

LICENSING & PAYMENTS

Content providers grant us a non-exclusive license and we pay fair rates

audience

Content is distributed direct to the audience on New Public

distribution

We aggregate and license content to partner platforms

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Elissa Yancey

CEO of the nonprofit audio story gathering tool A Picture's Worth

I'm excited about the collaborative media creation work that New Public is leading. With a clear focus on building a robust, inclusive public media infrastructure, New Public welcomes all voices to their table. Watching their process evolve and expand illustrates the power of equity-first strategic thinking and the innovations possible when you put people first.

WHO PAYS FOR IT?

New Public is fair trade journalism. Companies are making money from content but that money isn’t getting back to creators. These companies need to reach diverse communities to remain successful. We are building an organization that elevates the talented journalists who have trust in the places where they work. We compensate everyone in the editorial process fairly and make transparent the true cost of journalism. As a fully virtual and distributed newsroom, we are changing how investments and compensation work in our industry by moving the revenue to the people who do the work.

ARE YOU A JOURNALIST? HELP US BUILD NEW PUBLIC

Public media by charter must create “programs of high quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, and innovation, which are obtained from diverse sources.” The Corporation for Public Broadcasting mentions diversity in all five of its content goals. It is well documented, however, that public media still does not serve the needs of diverse journalists, nor does it fully tell the stories of diverse communities.

The public media network holds great trust for its rigor and professionalism and is supported by public dollars, donors and foundations. It delivers groundbreaking and high quality work every day. It is striking that many of the editors we spoke with ask, if public media has come this far, what could we achieve if we didn’t have to fight the battles of equity, diversity and bureaucracy every day? What kind of newsroom would we build from the ground up if our true, prioritized goal were to serve diverse audiences?

Great news organizations start with great journalists. So we started designing our editorial process by talking to some of the best around the country.

 

Want to tell us what makes for a great newsroom? Take the editors survey or the reporters survey.

Alicia Bell

News Voices Organizing Manager, Free Press

I dream of a national news with strong infrastructure to keep it connected to the ground of our local communities. That's why I love the distributed, translocal nature of New Public. I dream of a national news where Black and Brown brilliance is acknowledged and uplifted, where our work is stronger because we don't have to be on racial equity committees or doing the labor of making organizations honor our full humanity. I'm hopeful that New Public can honor us and our communities in this way — with all of our intersections and overlaps.

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©2020 by the Association of Independents in Radio