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How Newsrooms Can Cash In Through Events, According to the American Press Institute

eventsrevenueAs many struggling newsrooms — or publications who are at least in a stage of transition — keep thinking of ways to diversify their revenue streams, live events have become a welcome addition to the frameworks of many media companies.

When done right, event production can be a fantastic way to increase audience engagement with current readers, attract and inform new readers and promote the mission and vision of your publication.

And thanks to a recently-published “Strategy Study” produced by the American Press Institute (API), newsroom leaders now have another resource to refer to when pursuing event production.

Using the nonprofit, nonpartisan digitally-native publication The Texas Tribune as inspiration for a successful revenue model (in 2013, the Trib generated more than $1 million from events), the API spent eight months interviewing 19 publishers about how they made journalism events a sustainable, vital asset to their organizations, and to the community around them.

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Knight Foundation Funds 3 Public Media Initiatives

knightlogoThis week the Knight Foundation announced funding for three new public media projects. The projects, each receiving $250,000, are aimed at finding new revenue streams and ways to engage audiences with new types of content. The projects include:

WGBH/FRONTLINE: will pull from PBS’ documentary series and create YouTube videos to engage Millennial audiences.

WBUR: “to create a new business unit, the “BizLab”, that will explore fresh opportunities to generate new memberships and revenue sources,” with the idea of sharing their innovations with the public media system.

Public Media Company: will expand their Channel X by hiring a news director to build and diversify their library of content and outreach to journalism schools and newsrooms.

All of the projects aim to not only innovate but make public media young again. Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism and media innovation, says that: ”In order to succeed, public media organizations must respond to new audience demands and discover ways to engage a diverse group of supporters, beyond their traditional following.”

What do you think of the projects? Any good ideas for them? Let us know @10,000Words.

What Is Slate Premium? The Publisher’s New Method For Monetization

slate-premium1Slate is dipping its toe in the membership pool.

Digital publishers keep experimenting with different methods of monetization, whether through metered paywalls, crowdsourcing, events or subscriptions, to see which one’s the answer to the pressing and increasingly complicated revenue question.

In a blog post Monday, Slate Editor David Plotz introduced Slate Plus, a membership option for the most passionate Slate fans. For those who pay $5 monthly or $50 a year, Plotz said readers “who support [Slate] journalism and want a closer connection to it” get perks like access to Slate writers through Slate Plus member-only discussions, early viewing of certain articles, ad-free podcasts, 30 percent off live events, single page articles rather than pesky pagination and special commenting privileges.

But don’t worry — this is not a paywall. As Plotz noted, all the free stuff on Slate will stay free. The membership fee just buys you extras, a benefit package they’ll be adding to over time. This type of model has been described as a “reverse paywall,” one that GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram has said is a good way to reward loyal readers rather than penalizing them.

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