The member-driven newsroom: What it is, how to become one, and how to make it stick

Membership Puzzle Project will share highlights and tips on how to use its just-published membership handbook: a practical guide to launching and sustaining a membership program and memberful routines.

For three years, the Membership Puzzle Project studied how membership models in news work. We kept track of member-funded news sites as they emerge around the world. We studied their problems and their potential. We funded 23 experiments around the world that explore the boundaries of ways and places in which membership in news could work.

In August, we published our membership handbook in partnership with The Lenfest Institute and the Google News Initiative: a practical, personalized guide to launching and sustaining a membership program, from determining whether membership is the right path all the way to the role that leadership plays in making it the DNA of an organization. The handbook offers advice, best practices, case studies, and templates that will help any member-driven newsroom answer the following questions on their membership journey.

This session will introduce some of our key findings, share our research methodology and process and teach people how to use the handbook for their greatest benefit. Other panelists will be leaders at news organizations we featured.

Suggested Speaker(s)

  • Ariel M Zirulnick
    Fund Director, Membership Puzzle Project
  • Elizabeth Hansen
    Program lead for news sustainability, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School