The hedge funds don’t have to win every time

“There’s nothing wrong with for-profit as long as your company isn’t interested only in profit.”

Sadly, we’ll see more media consolidation in 2022, with more newspapers falling into hedge-fund hands. But I’m also sure we will see more digital startups popping up to offer alternatives in town after town. My view is that it’s not smart to bet against the hedge funds, but they don’t have to win every time.

We all have choices — as journalists, readers, consumers, advertisers, and philanthropists. I’m putting my money down on locally owned, civic-minded, reader-focused journalism.

I expect that in 2022 I will continue to hear from journalists who are eager to learn more about the Colorado Sun and want to create their own news sites around the country. There’s a lot of passion, energy, and guts out there, and that’s just what we need. It won’t be easy, figuring out new business models and finding ways to connect with readers. I’ve learned so much in the past three years about how to launch and run a new business, and it’s been thrilling to see The Colorado Sun grow from 10 full-time staffers in 2018 to 22 today (and soon to be 23).

Inevitably, many of these conversations with aspiring media entrepreneurs will quickly turn toward tax status. The opposite of hedge-fund journalism is nonprofit journalism, right? My short take: With apologies to John Thornton and others, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. What makes perfect sense in one place might not work so well elsewhere. Your tax status doesn’t matter if your business goes belly up. Know your market, and your readers. Be nonprofit where it makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with for-profit as long as your company isn’t interested only in profit. Have you considered an alternative, such as becoming a public benefit corporation or B Corp? If your No. 1 goal is to serve your readers and your community with quality journalism, then I think you’re on the right path. Focus on that first.

There are some dark days ahead across the media landscape in 2022, but I remain hopeful. Journalism is too important to be left in the hands of hedge funds. Best wishes to everyone out there who wants to find a better way.

Larry Ryckman is editor and co-founder of The Colorado Sun.

Sadly, we’ll see more media consolidation in 2022, with more newspapers falling into hedge-fund hands. But I’m also sure we will see more digital startups popping up to offer alternatives in town after town. My view is that it’s not smart to bet against the hedge funds, but they don’t have to win every time.

We all have choices — as journalists, readers, consumers, advertisers, and philanthropists. I’m putting my money down on locally owned, civic-minded, reader-focused journalism.

I expect that in 2022 I will continue to hear from journalists who are eager to learn more about the Colorado Sun and want to create their own news sites around the country. There’s a lot of passion, energy, and guts out there, and that’s just what we need. It won’t be easy, figuring out new business models and finding ways to connect with readers. I’ve learned so much in the past three years about how to launch and run a new business, and it’s been thrilling to see The Colorado Sun grow from 10 full-time staffers in 2018 to 22 today (and soon to be 23).

Inevitably, many of these conversations with aspiring media entrepreneurs will quickly turn toward tax status. The opposite of hedge-fund journalism is nonprofit journalism, right? My short take: With apologies to John Thornton and others, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. What makes perfect sense in one place might not work so well elsewhere. Your tax status doesn’t matter if your business goes belly up. Know your market, and your readers. Be nonprofit where it makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with for-profit as long as your company isn’t interested only in profit. Have you considered an alternative, such as becoming a public benefit corporation or B Corp? If your No. 1 goal is to serve your readers and your community with quality journalism, then I think you’re on the right path. Focus on that first.

There are some dark days ahead across the media landscape in 2022, but I remain hopeful. Journalism is too important to be left in the hands of hedge funds. Best wishes to everyone out there who wants to find a better way.

Larry Ryckman is editor and co-founder of The Colorado Sun.

Matt Karolian

Stefanie Murray

Janelle Salanga

Jody Brannon

Alice Antheaume

Matthew Pressman

Izabella Kaminska

AX Mina

Brian Moritz

Francesco Zaffarano

Melody Kramer

A.J. Bauer

Christoph Mergerson

S. Mitra Kalita

Wilson Liévano

Mary Walter-Brown

Joshua P. Darr

Mandy Jenkins

Sarah Marshall

Julia Munslow

Gonzalo del Peon

Cherian George

Doris Truong

Anita Varma

Jonas Kaiser

Joy Mayer

Ståle Grut

Jesenia De Moya Correa

Gabe Schneider

Chicas Poderosas

Larry Ryckman

Michael W. Wagner

Andrew Freedman

Kristen Muller

Parker Molloy

Jesse Holcomb

Jim Friedlich

Don Day

Meena Thiruvengadam

Kerri Hoffman

Moreno Cruz Osório

Jennifer Brandel

Paul Cheung

Sarah Stonbely

Burt Herman

Matt DeRienzo

Ariel Zirulnick

Anika Anand

Robert Hernandez

Kathleen Searles & Rebekah Trumble

Tamar Charney

Catalina Albeanu

Zizi Papacharissi

David Skok

Raney Aronson-Rath

Gordon Crovitz

Stephen Fowler

Chase Davis

Cindy Royal

Megan McCarthy

Joanne McNeil

j. Siguru Wahutu

Whitney Phillips

Amara Aguilar

Joni Deutsch

Sam Guzik

Kristen Jeffers

Christina Shih

Tony Baranowski

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Jessica Clark

Mario García

Candace Amos

Natalia Viana

Shalabh Upadhyay

Rachel Glickhouse

Richard Tofel

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Mike Rispoli

Victor Pickard

Simon Allison

Joe Amditis

Shannon McGregor & Carolyn Schmitt

Cristina Tardáguila

Tom Trewinnard

Eric Nuzum

Anthony Nadler

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Errin Haines

Laxmi Parthasarathy

Jennifer Coogan

David Cohn

Juleyka Lantigua

Daniel Eilemberg

Simon Galperin

James Green

John Davidow

Julia Angwin

Nikki Usher

Millie Tran