Insider Louisville, the city’s digital-first news organization, is transitioning to a nonprofit model to further its mission of delivering impactful journalism on cornerstone topics such as business, education, health, government, culture and the local economy.
In doing so, Insider joins a burgeoning nonprofit movement across the nation that shores up support for local news. Indeed, Insider benchmarked its model based on other nonprofit news entities that have produced sustainable, local online news through a mix of memberships, major donors, corporate sponsorships, advertising, events and, to a smaller degree, foundation funding, including the Texas Tribune, MinnPost, Honolulu Civil Beat, Voice of San Diego and Rivard Report in San Antonio.
“Former print journalists like myself have joined this nonprofit revolution in communities across the country – it’s a little scary but encouraging, and it’s happening fast,” said Mickey Meece, who joined Insider in 2016 as managing editor from The New York Times.
“In the last five years, Insider Louisville has laid the groundwork for becoming an indispensable source of information for our loyal readers,” Meece added. “Now, with the support of those readers, we will be able to broaden our mission to touch every community and produce an even greater range of content.”
Insider Louisville always has been a free service to readers, and this announcement doesn’t change that. There will not be a paywall, now or ever.
This move to a 501(c)3 allows Insider to be more sustainable and effective and creates even greater transparency in its reporting and practices. The mission always has been to provide the essential service of reputable local journalism to the community, and this transition helps relate that message in a more tangible way.
It also means that Insider is making a commitment to pour any revenue received after expenses back into supporting and expanding the newsroom. Insider, therefore, does not answer to a conglomerate or corporation or investors. It answers to those who support the mission — the readers. And Insider’s pledge to the readership is to provide essential reporting that will shine a light on the most important aspects of our community.
“I’m excited about the next chapter of Insider Louisville. Becoming a member-supported independent news organization will enable us to broaden our mission to touch every community and to produce first-rate journalism that gets results,” said Meece.
Look how far Insider has come. In 2013, the founder of Insider, Terry Boyd, wrote, “Now, maybe they’ll stop calling Insider Louisville a blog.”
A year later, Insider reported on a jump in its traffic and that its reputation as a go-to source for daily business, local government, economic and cultural information in Louisville had become solidified.
Today, Insider has more than 150,000 monthly readers from its daily newsletters, Twitter and Facebook followers, website visitors and those who search for local news.
Insider firmly believes those numbers will continue to grow as it invests in its editorial operations in the next year to produce even more compelling journalism — the news that matters most to Insider Louisville readers.