The American Press Institute awarded two $25,000 grants to The Keene Sentinel and the National Trust for Local News to support experimentation and progress around the print transition with the goal of keeping customers and revenues.
The grantees participated in the Beyond Print convening, an event hosted by API and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism in Detroit this past June. Over the course of two days, more than 20 news organizations shared best practices for shifting from print to digital revenue models while growing their customer bases. API offered the funding opportunity to help boost news organizations’ efforts following the event.
“The Keene Sentinel has been printing since 1799, but we know success and sustainability in the 21st century depend on our evolution into a digital-first news organization,” said Jack Rooney, managing editor for audience development at The Keene Sentinel. “The Beyond Print Convening provided us with invaluable insights and connections to inspire and guide this transformational work. Now, this grant funding will accelerate our efforts to meet our community’s growing need for trusted local news and information online.”
Each organization received funding to support the following community engagement work:
- The Keene Sentinel will enhance its e-edition to improve readers’ experience, transition print subscribers to digital products and provide automation that will allow The Keene Sentinel to redeploy resources to bolster digital-first news coverage.
- The National Trust for Local News will support a bilingual newsletter in Commerce City, Colorado, including contracting a newsletter writer and editor to cover issues in Commerce City, such as affordable housing, growth and development and local government decisions, with an aim at increasing the civic engagement of residents.
“We’re thrilled to receive an American Press Institute Beyond Print grant, which will enable us to provide important coverage to Commerce City, a growing Colorado community,” said Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, CEO and co-founder of the National Trust for Local News. “This grant will allow us to move quickly to experiment and make adjustments based on community feedback. What we learn in Commerce City will inform our entire portfolio of nearly two dozen publications serving residents along Colorado’s Front Range.”
API and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism will be sharing insights and lessons from the news organizations’ initiatives in an upcoming Beyond Print Toolkit. To receive updates when the toolkit is published, fill out this form or subscribe to API’s Need to Know newsletter and updates from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
“We are happy to be providing The Keene Sentinel and the National Trust for Local News support in continuing their work inspired by the Beyond Print Convening,” said Emily Ristow, API’s director of local news transformation. “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.”
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the American Press Institute
The American Press Institute helps develop, support and sustain healthy local news organizations with a focus on civic discourse and democracy; culture and inclusion; community engagement and trust; and revenue and resilience. 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.