The American Press Institute awarded grants to four news organizations participating in the Beyond Print program, a cohort designed to guide publishers away from print-centric revenue models toward a sustainable digital future. The challenge fund granted $15,000 to each participating organization to help them test new ideas to create and expand their digital models.
Since May, the cohort has learned from experts at organizations that have reduced their print frequency about best practices for internal and external communication around changes, including boosting customer service; logistical considerations for moving from carrier delivery to mail delivery; and increasing digital offerings. Cohort members have focused on attracting audiences with new digital products and sustaining current reader revenue streams to allow them more time to increase their digital subscriber base and diversify revenue. These efforts have included moving subsets of 7-day-a-week print subscribers to digital-only, offering digital-plus Sunday print edition packages and more.
Each organization received funding to support the following work:
- La Voz at The Arizona Republic will launch and promote a texting service to provide housing news to Latine audiences in the Phoenix area to help grow its overall digital audience.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will run paid social media campaigns to grow the newsletter audience for Access Atlanta, an entertainment site aimed at attracting audiences who don’t already engage with the AJC brand.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer introduced a 6-day-a-week mail delivery service to select ZIP codes. They are now launching a campaign to win back former subscribers in those ZIP codes with this more reliable delivery option.
- The Seattle Times has created The Seattle Times Weekend edition, a hybrid of the Saturday and Sunday newspapers, delivered to print subscribers who have moved to 6-day-a-week mail delivery.
“The work of these organizations will help inform best practices for other newspapers looking to make the urgent and crucial shift to reduce their reliance on print revenues. We look forward to sharing the lessons from these initiatives widely across the industry,” said Emily Ristow, API’s director of local news transformation.
The Lenfest Institute, a key design and program partner, has been publishing lessons and best practices from the Beyond Print cohort to help share resources with other news organizations working to create digital-first revenue streams. For example, this article explores how to build “digital readiness” within your organization. You can find all the updates here. If you would like to receive upcoming insights and updates, please complete this form.
Beyond Print is funded by an anchor donation from the Andrew and Julie Klingenstein Family Fund with additional funding from The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, a joint initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
For more information, please contact Emily Ristow, director of local news transformation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the American Press Institute
The American Press Institute helps publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, and succeed at organizational change. We believe that for democracies to thrive, people need accurate news and information about their communities, the problems of civil society and the debates over how to solve them. That requires a financially sustainable free press that reflects the diversity of American society and understands the needs of its communities. API is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News Media Alliance.
About The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund
With a focus on sustainability and equity, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund is designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, by supporting journalistic excellence and serving the information needs of communities. The Knight-Lenfest Fund collaborates with news organizations, leaders and communities to grow capacity and meet journalism’s technology, business, and audience realities of the future. It believes that journalism is at its best when it is of service. The Knight-Lenfest Fund is a joint venture of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.