A NEW WORLD IN INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The second piece of good news is that, amidst this hostile and dispiriting environment, a new generation of journalism start-ups are emerging. These new organizations are 100% digital, native and independent. They are micro or small enterprises or collectives of reporters, photo- graphers and videographers, often relying on experimental business models. They represent a new frontier for journalism, and together, they have already drawn positive attention from the public opinion.
Despite their dynamism, the financial solidity and public acceptance of these new media outlets is limited. For the time being, they are niche enterprises acting in a non-collaborative, non-coordinated way. In isolation, they are promising and often of great quality, but have poor infrastructure, unstable financing and uncertain business models. Therefore, they are still not able to produce hard news in real time, nor achieve relevant national and international coverage. All this makes them currently unable to compete with the legacy media.
On the other hand, these start-ups appear more resilient than one could imagine, given their shortcomings. Although most outlets were launched in 2014 and 2015, 51.5% of companies started their activities before then,
according to researchers.
Moreover, the media start-ups in this independent scene have a similar social-political profile: they are social-liberal, espousing a free market philosophy, and zealous of their non-partisanship and freedom of speech.
Their common denominator is a classic vision of journalism, with declared respect for journalism’s essential role in a democracy, for the independence of content and for the integrity of its editorial structure. Their funding is private or public, or a mix. They want continuity and audience, but also financial sustainability and future positioning within the journalism market.
INDIE would take advantage of these energetic, bold new initiatives. It would identify and contact potential content partners among these promising new outlets, after a careful assessment of their professionalism, their editorial lines, the integrity of their funding and their means of production. It would then serve as a news platform, distributing and eventually syndicating its own content along with the content of its members, and presenting the reading public with a steady stream of daily, high-quality, reliable content that could compete with the legacy media.
IN BRAZIL, AS ELSEWHERE, THERE IS A CLEAR MIGRATION OF READERS TOWARD ONLINE PLATFORMS. THIS IS GOOD NEWS.