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PBS’s NewsHour took a look at nonprofit journalism on Tuesday and Paul Steiger, former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and the editor of the new nonprofit investigative journalism outfit ProPublica.org, gave us a little shout-out at the end.
Here’s the sequence, which comes after an academic said that commercial journalism models were more ideal than nonprofit:
JEFFREY BROWN: We just have about 30 seconds, Paul Steiger, but since you’ve been in both worlds, do you have a response to that?
PAUL STEIGER: No, I totally agree with that. The additional point is that, when you have a successful commercial model, it attracts imitators, so you get critical mass much more quickly than you do with nonprofits.
But in the current environment when, you know, newspapers are under enormous stress and other news organizations under enormous stress, there is a role for the nonprofit.
I was just out in San Diego, met with a couple of young guys that are running something called the Voice of San Diego. It’s a nonprofit, totally online, new news enterprise that’s focusing on breaking important public interest news in San Diego …
JEFFREY BROWN: All right.
PAUL STEIGER: … and they’re challenging the other news organizations to meet their standards.
JEFFREY BROWN: OK. We have to leave it there. Paul Steiger and Alex Jones, thank you very much.
As you can see, the host was trying to end the show quickly. So we appreciate Steiger working so hard to get that last little plug in there. Scott Lewis and I met with him a month or so ago after he robbed us of our new science and technology reporter Joaquin Sapien.