Thursday, April 16, 2009

Evolution: Non-profit News at NRVoice

Tim Jackson>

OK, here it comes. The following is Tim Jackson's and Taryn Chase's explanation of the next step in the evolution of New River Voice, his newspaper, turned Internet news outlet. Tim's a pro (I don't know Taryn, but I suspect she's pretty knowledgeable, too) and it looks like he's surrounding himself with professionals. This non-profit publication could well give our local daily a case of heartburn. Go get 'em!

"Due to economics and the corporate media being beholden to
advertisers and other outside forces, investigative journalism has
disappeared in the New River Valley. We believe that hard-nosed
journalism is essential to the democratic process and we believe that a nonprofit model is the best way to achieve our goals."

Here's how Tim and Taryn plans to do it:

"Our mission is a work in progress, but right now it goes something
like this:

"The New River Voice will:
• "deliver ground-breaking investigative journalism;
• "explore issues of social justice;
• "increase civic participation by giving citizens the knowledge and
in-depth analysis necessary to become advocates for good government
and social progress;
• "cover the rich arts and culture of the region;
• "train a new generation of journalists via the use of local college
and high school journalism students, including an internship program
for collegiate journalists who will essentially serve as apprentices
to the veteran journalists on staff."

Tim's talking to former Roanoke Times reporter Tim Thornton, who would be a full-time reporter for the venture. Tim Thornton's doing some work for us at Valley Business FRONT and has has also been talking to the people at Public Radio and several other publications (including my pal Anne Adams in Highland County), as well. His work is excellent and he's a veteran with extensive contacts. NRVoice also wants part-timers and interns, as well as a development director.

Tim Jackson is, of course, looking for some bucks to get this thing started and you can chip in by e-mailing him at

For those of you wringing your hands over the future of investigative journalism, this may well be it: a pool of good reporters providing "content" for a charge or a donation. I continue to believe journalism is in good hands--despite some of the numbskulls who run dailies--and that it will continue to be.

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