This summer I am working with Professor Kate Fink to study and research the changing and developing state of the news industry during the modern age through our project titled “Seeking Sustainable Funding Models for News: The Case of TAPInto.” As readers are straying away from newspapers and turning towards social media for their updates on current local and international affairs, news media outlets must find an affordable way to stay in touch with their audience. A way that many outlets have chosen to overcome this challenge is through the use of “teaching hospital” -style journalism for young writers and through franchise models for funding. We will focus on the organization TAPInto, which is a network of local news sites based in New Jersey and New York.
Our purpose is to identify new and innovative methods of providing stability for news media outlets that may be struggling financially. As traditional advertising-dominated revenues are collapsing, many local, as well as college campus-based news outlets (St. Bonaventure University, specifically) are fighting for survival. Organizations, such as TAPInto, are available to adequately assist with changes in news funding, distribution and consumption. Through our research, our goal is to examine a new way of providing news and to consider and discover its’ outcomes and viability to replace other failing styles of reporting. We hope to provide research that can assist in driving news outlets further in their successes, and show that the growth and sustainability of news media is still possible.
We also hope to achieve recognition for our research at the next National College Media Association conference in March 2020, or the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in August 2020. We also plan to submit a paper for publication to a peer-reviewed journal such as Journalism Studies or Journalism.