Digital Content Next Offers Support to Nonprofit News Organizations

The online-publishing trade association Digital Content Next, thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation, is providing free memberships to an array of nonprofit news outlets that wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

As any association is aware, nonprofit status doesn’t mean that the bottom line isn’t important. Sustainability matters.

That’s why a new effort by a trade group associated with the business side of the online news industry makes a lot of sense. Digital Content Next (DCN), with the help of a $156,250 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will offer full, complementary, two-year memberships to 10 emerging nonprofit news organizations.

The first four organizations to be selected for membership are:

Billy Penn, a mobile news source for young Philadelphia residents

The Marshall Project, an investigative news organization focused on the American criminal justice system

The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan politics and public-policy news source in the Lone Star State

Voice of San Diego, a local investigative news resource that is fully funded by private donors and community organizations

“We’re excited to collaborate with Knight Foundation to foster the growth of these promising, high-quality digital-content companies and look forward to the work we’ll do,” Jason Kint, CEO of DCN, said in a news release.

Formerly known as the Online Publishers Association, DCN boasts corporate members such as Bloomberg, BBC Worldwide, NBCUniversal, Time, Inc., the Washington Post, and WebMD. Since its 2014 rebrand, DCN has seen steady growth, including a 35 percent increase in membership last year. By embracing nonprofits, the association hopes to help elevate the digital-publishing sector as a whole.

“With this support we’ll continue our focus on helping publishers of all sizes and types create amazing and trusted content experiences for consumers and advertisers,” Kint said.

The four new members appeared at the DCN Next: Summit in Miami last week. In the future, the nonprofit news outlets will be invited to events featuring leaders of prominent companies such as ESPN, NBCUniversal, and the New York Times. DCN says it will support the members through educational events, business development, and networking.

“Digital Content Next will provide new opportunities for emerging leaders striving to transform journalism with new models and methods to produce and distribute journalism and engage with consumers in the digital age,” Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism, said in a statement.

“We see this as a terrific opportunity for online news organizations, experimenting with ways to fill important gaps in local and investigative news, to share and to have access to business solutions, research, data, and best practices across the field,” Preston added.


Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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