Frequently Asked Questions
What are the services the Tiny News Collective is offering?
In short, The Tiny News Collective offers a low-cost, all-inclusive platform for building a news organization from scratch, with all the training and support necessary to succeed.
Our platform includes industry-standard technology such as:
- A complete publishing system based on Google Docs and Google Workspace
- A performant, modern news website with SEO and social best practices baked in
- Newsletter publishing
- Pre-configured Google Analytics tagging and dashboards for accurate funnel measurement
- Comments from The Coral Project
- A full accounting and fundraising suite from MonkeyPod
- A local advertising marketplace from Letterhead by WhereBy.Us
Technology is just a small piece of what the Tiny News Collective offers. We also provide payroll services, back office support, access to legal help and more. Our staff is developing a complete training curriculum that teaches how to build a successful news business using the tools we provide for you.
What kinds of news organizations are you looking for?
We are focused on place-based local journalism, especially news organizations targeting un- or underserved communities. News organizations can (and should) have topical focuses as well, but ultimately they should be grounded in a firm sense of place. At this time, we can only support organizations in the United States.
Do I need journalism experience to found a Tiny News Organization?
No! We're looking for anyone interested in building place-based local news in areas un- or underserved by the current news ecosystem. We are especially interested in founders who come from backgrounds historically and systematically shut out of media ownership.
Our comprehensive training program, run by LION Publishers, will help you build a journalism business even if you have never worked in journalism before.
What if my organization is already up and running?
Our initial focus is supporting founders who are just getting started and need our assistance setting up a business, learning the different aspects of running a news operation, and having a tech stack that can support their work. But we know that resources are scarce and support is hard to find so we are actively talking about how we might support those who are already in business but still early in their journey and in need of the kind of resources we offer. We plan to share more details early next year about what options might become available in the future.
How do I sign up?
Applications for the first group of founders will open in early 2021. In the meantime, you can sign up as an interested founder and we'll reach out with more information to help you refine your idea and prepare for applying. If you aren't applying but know of someone who you think might be a great fit for the collective, you can nominate a founder and we'll reach out to them.
Who is working on the Tiny News Collective?
The Tiny News Collective is a collaborative project. See our about page for our full team.
How much does the Tiny News Collective cost?
Our pricing model is still being finalized, but The Collective will be able to offer the platform, training, legal assistance, back-office services and everything else for around $100 per month -- a fraction of what it would cost on the open market. LION membership is included in the price, giving founders access to additional training and an entire community to learn from.
How easy is it to leave The Collective when a news organization is ready?
Our unique legal structure – essentially a form of fiscal sponsorship – makes it easy to spin off a newsroom into an independent company. Our goal is to raise organizations to digital sustainability. Once they reach that point, we will encourage organizations to leave The Collective and become independent.
We are working closely with Newspack, a project of WordPress.com and the Google News Initiative, to ensure that when one of our newsrooms is ready to move to their platform, the migration will be seamless.