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Key links:
Primary website:
minnpost.org
Primary Twitter:
@minnpost

MinnPost is a nonprofit news site based in Minneapolis, Minn.

The site was launched in 2007 by Joel Kramer, a former editor and publisher at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, to reach civic leaders and those interested in public policy. Its initial $1.1 million in funding was provided predominantly by local donors (including Kramer himself), along with the Knight Foundation, which provided a $250,000 grant. (MinnPost has since received another $205,000 from the Knight Foundation, as well as $225,000 from the local Blandin Foundation and part of a $100,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation.)

MinnPost began with six full-time editors and dozens of freelance contributors and had 17 full-time employees as of 2013.

MinnPost has multiple revenue streams, including advertising and subscriptions. It ran surpluses in both 2010 and 2011, albeit small ones, joining the ranks of few news organizations that can claim the same. The paper’s operating budget in 2011 and 2012 was about $1.5 million.

As of the end of 2013, MinnPost had about 2,200 paying members. MinnPost also raises money from other sources, including an annual fundraiser called MinnRoast that provided about 10 percent of its annual revenue as of 2012. MinnPost has relatively low overhead costs, and its initial goal was to become sustainable without foundation assistance by 2012. About 20 percent of its revenue came from foundations in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, it received a $1.2 million joint grant with Voice of San Diego from the Knight Foundation to improve attraction and retention of members.

In 2009, MinnPost began selling real-time ads in a Twitter-like interface on its website. The site has also made a pitch for funding to cover the state gubernatorial race on the crowdfunding site Spot.Us.

The site’s journalistic product is based more on news analysis than on investigative reporting. It initially distributed a daily print edition of highlights from the site on 8″x11″ paper, but stopped distribution within a few months, and dropped a print-at-home edition in July 2008.

Audio:

OJR interview with Joel Kramer:

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
June 22, 2015 / Justin Ellis
MinnPost introduces members-only content with MinnPost+ — Minnesota’s nonprofit news outlet MinnPost hopes to show that membership has its privileges. Starting tomorrow, the site is launching MinnPost+, a new tier of “bonus content” only available to people wh...
April 8, 2015 / Justin Ellis
In the world of nonprofit news, different paths to sustainability for local and state news sites — As the world of nonprofit news matures, the good news is that more news organizations are creating ways to increase their revenue and expand their audience. The bad news: They’re still heavily reliant on grants and...
Feb. 9, 2015 / Joseph Lichterman
Voice of San Diego, 10 years old today, is rethinking its editorial and tech around membership — Voice of San Diego editor in chief and CEO Scott Lewis finally has everything he wants. “I got the website I wanted, I got the money I wanted, I got the staff I wanted,” Lewis told me. “I’ve got n...
Nov. 13, 2014 / Ken Doctor
The newsonomics of Talking Points Memo’s native advertising shift — Call it addition by subtraction, or deduction over misdirection. The commercial progress of Talking Points Memo is a telling lesson in the maturation of digital native news companies. TPM was born very much a blog, one o...
Nov. 3, 2014 / Justin Ellis
The Texas Tribune is 5 years old and sustainable. Now what? — The newsroom of The Texas Tribune is buzzing in the waning days of the 2014 election. Covering political contests takes a kind of muscle memory, something the nonprofit news site has accumulated since it first appeared i...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 3, 2014.
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The Guardian is a foundation-owned national British newspaper known for its global reach and liberal editorial stance. The Guardian was founded in 1821 as the Manchester Guardian (it was moved to London in 1964). In 1936, ownership of the paper was passed on to the Scott Trust, which has pledged to maintain the paper’s independence…

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