Digital Content Next will offer new memberships to nonprofit online news organizations and other promising journalism and online content publishers. Supported by $156,250 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, these memberships will provide access to best business practices, a powerful network of top digital media publishers, peer-to-peer learning, as well as research opportunities and activities.
Digital Content Next, the former Online Publishers Association, will use Knight support to advance learning for new members, widen the journalism industry’s talent and leadership pool, and provide fresh approaches to creating sustainable business models. Digital Content Next will select 10 new members to receive two-year memberships. In addition to business development and learning opportunities, participants will attend events with leaders from media organizations, such as ESPN, NBC Universal, NPR and NYTimes.com, as well as successful digital news companies including Vox Media, Business Insider and Vocativ.
The first of 10 new organizations receiving memberships include:
- Billy Penn – A mobile-first news platform dedicated to covering the important issues affecting Philadelphia’s 3Ms: mobile-minded millennials. Billy Penn is designed to connect people to relevant news and information about Philadelphia, and to drive civic engagement through related groups and events.
- The Marshall Project – A nonprofit news organization that focuses on the American criminal justice system through deep investigative projects and narratives and profiles that put a human face on criminal justice, as well as explanatory and contextual pieces, along with guest commentary and voices from inside the system.
- The Texas Tribune – The only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs and engages with Texans on public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. The Tribune aims to bring greater transparency and accountability to the community through news, data and events.
- Voice of San Diego: The first digital nonprofit news organization to serve local information needs with hard-hitting investigative reports along with opportunities to engage. Voice of San Diego is regarded as a pioneer in the nonprofit news industry for building a business model based on the support of individual members, sponsors and the investment of local and national foundations.
Billy Penn, The Marshall Project, The Texas Tribune and Voice of San Diego are currently attending the DCN Next: Summit (Feb. 1-3) in Miami as their first introduction to the organization.
“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,” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next. “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.”
“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,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “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.”
The selected companies will join Digital Content Next at a time of continued growth for the organization. Four new brands were added at the end of 2015 – Atlantic Media, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, News Corp. and Robb Report – capping off a year that saw record 35 percent growth for the trade association.
Digital Content Next provides content creators with business solutions ranging from the most effective use of data analytics to the best audience development strategies. Focusing on new ways to help its members create revenue, Digital Content Next has further expanded its scope to share more lessons and industry best practices through its InContext website, public events and research.
Digital Content Next members joining in the last year include: ABC, ABC Owned Television Stations, Atlantic Media, Business Insider, Fusion, Independent Journal, New Republic, News Corp., NewsBeat Social, Newsday, Refinery29, Robb Report, Rodale, Telegraph Media Group, The Daily Caller, The E.W. Scripps Co., The Onion, Tribune Publishing, Vocativ, Vox Media, and Warner Bros.
Funding for Digital Content Next forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to promote journalism excellence in the digital age, support emerging leaders and strengthen the network of people working to advance the field. Knight has made many investments in this area, including the $5 million Knight Local Media Initiative, which has supported more than 70 organizations in developing innovations in journalism.
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About Digital Content Next
Digital Content Next (DCN) is the only trade organization dedicated to serving the unique and diverse needs of high-quality digital content companies that manage trusted, direct relationships with consumers and marketers. The organization was founded in June 2001 as the Online Publishers Association (OPA). Comprised of some of the most trusted and well-respected media brands, DCN produces proprietary research for its members and the public, creates public and private forums to explore and advance key issues that impact digital content brands, offers an influential voice that speaks for digital content companies in the press, with advertisers and policy makers, and works to educate the public at large on the importance of quality content brands. Digital Content Next’s membership has an unduplicated audience of 223,098 million unique visitors or 100% reach of the U.S. online population.*
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.