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From pageviews to impact

“Metrics of impact will be our golden data points; we need to understand if what we’re creating has any effect on the world we live in.”

More collaboration

With newsrooms cutting staff every day, we see a growing drive from journalists, designers, and developers who want to keep reporting on important issues but want to do so independently. We see journalists becoming entrepreneurs, getting together with designers and technologists to build new independent media projects that amplify a diversity of voices and stories.

As news becomes platform agnostic, living where their audiences are, media producers will find it extremely useful and productive when able to collaborate with professionals from other areas in order to produce a common story. We’ve seen this inside the Chicas Poderosas community and have developed a pattern for success when investigating a story across Latin American borders — running a “Latin American newsroom with more than 28 journalists and producers” without knowing some of them personally.

The power of collaboration enables us to get stories from all around the globe with a common perspective, making independent journalism no longer as dependent on a set of newsroom walls or a fixed editor-in-chief. When we want to have more women leaders in newsrooms, we start with the women, then develop stories across borders — creating our own opportunities for every woman to lead.

Hybrid business models for independent journalism

If we want to keep journalism alive and kicking, we need not only to reinvent our business models — we need to diversify them in order to hold on to one if another fails. There will be new membership models with community and users merged into a single group with common goals. Decentralized decision-making and governance models will grow. A shared leadership model where the entire community has skin in the game enables a paradigm shift to collaboration, with space for everyone.

Social impact as a metric of success

We can’t improve what we can’t measure. Metrics of impact will be our golden data points; we need to understand if what we’re creating has any effect on the world we live in. Pageviews and time spent will give way to how many people you’ve impacted, how many laws you’ve helped change, how diverse your leaders are, and how inclusive you are of your communities.

Mariana Santos is executive director of Chicas Poderosas.

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