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A reporter in a rural district of India uses WhatsApp to broadcast local news — and makes money doing it
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Articles by Ken Doctor

Ken Doctor is a news industry analyst and the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get (St. Martin’s Press). He also runs the book’s companion website, newsonomics.com. He is an analyst for the research firm Outsell and a regular consultant and speaker. He spent 21 years with Knight Ridder in a variety of roles, including as managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and as a vice president of Knight Ridder Digital.
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It’s built a membership-driven model that produces trust, connection, and good journalism. But can it extend that approach to the hurly-burly of the American media market?
“What we try to do is to chart out what’s in between those extremes, because most of the world is not ruled by the extremes; the everyday reality is what the world is actually about.”
Will his attempt to sideline investor Patrick Soon-Shiong lead to consolidated control, or will legal action push back? And did we ever figure out what a Tronc is, anyway?
After combining with Denverite, the company behind Billy Penn and The Incline hopes to prove its events-heavy model can work in a dozen or more cities.
“You have an event that goes really well. You send 175 ambassadors out of your event thinking it was awesome, saying ‘I love Billy Penn’s events.’ And on top of that, you make money doing it.”
A leadership void in newspaper companies has opened up local journalism further to private equity firms looking to vacuum out profits.
The Craigslist founder has given to Wikipedia and Poynter, with more to come: “I do think a trustworthy press is mission critical for any democracy.”
“We have so valued the fact that we are still standing. ‘Look we’re still standing!’ But standing is not enough…you gotta run.”
Journalists and publishers need to breathe new life into the social contract with readers: The audience holds the media accountable, the media holds the powerful accountable.
Readers have finally understood that their payments for the news will actually make a difference in what they and their community know. That model needs to be extended down to states and cities.