Stakeholder Ownership for Sustainable News

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Affiliated institutions: University of Colorado Boulder

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Description: This article presents a survey of broad-based stakeholder-ownership models for journalism, in order to highlight avenues for future research and practice. The models considered are forms of ownership by employees, associations, audiences, and blends of these. Some of the examples are so new that they have not been, and cannot yet be, comprehensively studied. Yet they may bear unique promise for addressing the dual challenges of economic sustainability and perceived accountability that bedevil news media today. Journalism has long been a site of path-breaking innovation in firm structures—from cooperative wire services to employee ownership to tiered classes of stock—and the new experiments are no exception. Appropriate ownership is not a sufficient condition of a beneficial or durable business. But attention to ownership design can help in devising a new generation of firms and public policies that enable journalism to thrive as a public good. Suggestions welcome! Please email at nathan.schneider@colorado.edu or comment on OSF.

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