January 24, 2020

$10K planning grant awarded to NorCalMedia Co-op

Renaissance Journalism supports study of media co-op to assist community news outlets

Dec 16, 2019

Renaissance Journalism has awarded a $10,000 grant for a study to determine whether the formation of a business cooperative can help some Bay Area news outlets succeed in today’s fierce media marketplace.

If the findings are positive, the study could lead to the creation of the Northern California Media Cooperative, a shared-services cooperative organization that would support member news organizations.

“The purpose of the co-op is to provide members with the volume and scale to cut costs and reduce risk, and the economic stability to support testing and implementing new revenue streams,” said journalist Josh Wilson, who has been championing the idea with media consultant Jo Ellen Green Kaiser and other media leaders. “NorCal Media is a unique effort in the news world, and distinct from the worker or member co-op model, because it is focusing on sustainability across groups of regional newsrooms.”

A diverse range of community news organizations, including commercial and nonprofit, have signaled interest, including the Westside Observer, Castro Courier, The Potrero View, San Francisco Bay View, Mission Local, The Mendocino Voice, San Francisco Public Press, Bay Area Reporter and El Tecolote. San Francisco City College’s Department of Journalism, Stakeholder Media, Watershed Media Project and the U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops have also been involved in the discussions.