The Media Consortium, a collaborative project joining small progressive news outlets in pursuit of a common goal, is currently accepting applications to be a part of their upcoming project. The Consortium will offer participating media outlets $5,000 to $10,000 to offer their experiences for research in an attempt to find new business models for small independent news outlets.
Members can get involved in two of three collaborative experiments organized by the Consortium, which involve "experimenting with new revenue-generating opportunities," "moving into mobile," and "integrating journalism with community engagement," says its website.
Because all of the media outlets are small, these experiments will pool knowledge and experiences from a wide range of different outlets and will offer a nuanced view of what methods work and why.
The opportunity offered by the Media Consortium is invaluable for small operations--some of the Consortium's member organizations have only 10 people on staff--to get a bit of breathing room to experiment, and also a bit of cash to help implement these experiments.
"This structure will provide lab members with the opportunity and space for self-education, peer knowledge sharing, connection to outside experts/tools, and collaborations that can scale up to improve the long-term sustainability of their outlets," says the website.
Though few outlets have signed on yet, Consortium project director Tracy VanSyke expects many of the applications to come in on the due date, May 12. VanSyke hopes the collaborative aspect of the projects will help turn ideas into reality.
"It's not enough to talk about it," she told Nieman Lab's Laura McGann. " You have to actually experiment."