Brant Houston offers an excellent resource at the Knight Citizen News Network about how to start up a non-profit news organizations – a much-needed guide given the explosion of new sites. Brant now teaches at the University of Illinois, and before that was the long-time executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), so he knows of whence he speaks.
Here’s a word of caution: You won’t just be doing journalism. You will be an employer, a manager, a grants writer, a negotiator and sometimes a bookkeeper. You’ll have a steep learning curve. But if you decide to go ahead, you’ll be in good company: Scores of enthusiastic and dedicated people have gone before you and formed journalism nonprofits that are carrying out good work.
It’s well-organized in chapters, and delves into great detail, especially for US groups. (Of course, I jumped straight into the bit on budgets and revenues.) And it does really bring home the need to master all the nuts and bolts of running a journalism enterprise.
It would be great if we could get more like this – perhaps even a site dedicated to helping on business plans, strategies, experiences and community. And with lots of global participation; at last count there were more than three dozen independent investigative journalism sites around the world.