Center for Cooperative Media Hosts Journalism Sustainability Conference

Read on Montclair State University

As the media industry changes, how can local news and information outlets survive and thrive? What does real sustainability look like—and how can we help each other get there?

The Center for Cooperative Media is bringing together industry leaders to tackle these questions at its third annual conference, Sustain Local 2016, on Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7. The conference will kick off with a welcome reception, keynote presentation, and networking event on Thursday. A full day of Sustain Local 2016 panels and presentations will take place will take place on Friday and will be held at the University Hall Conference Center.

Sustain Local 2016 will feature multiple keynote discussions and nine panels and workshops focused on major business and organizational challenges facing local news publishers across the country, with presentations from organizations including NPR, Google News Lab, Hearst, USA Today and others.

“The goal [of Sustain Local 2016] is to host thoughtful and inspiring discussions about the future of business models supporting local journalism, and to move the national conversation on this topic forward,” says Stefanie Murray, Director of the Center for Cooperative Media. “We want people to leave the conference feeling empowered to try new ideas.”

Local news entrepreneurs and newspaper, television and radio journalists will join with other business, advertising, and academic leaders to discuss generating the kind of revenue needed to support the work of local journalism, with a special emphasis on creative business models, sales and membership strategies and events development.

“In today’s world, a single stream of advertising dollars isn’t enough to pay the bills; advertising spending has shifted dramatically and the amount going in to local media properties simply isn’t enough anymore (in most places) to sustain the business,” explains Murray. “One of the major goals of the conference is to learn how to build various streams of money that are reliable—it’s fairly well accepted now that multiple sources of income what media entities need to survive and thrive.”

Through the use of partnerships, collaborations, training, product development, research and communication, CCM works with more than 150 partners throughout the Garden State, including hyperlocal digital publishers, public media, newspapers, television outlets, radio stations and multimedia news organizations. The center is a grant-funded organization based at Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media.

The mission of the Center for Cooperative Media is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey citizens.

“We’ve built one of the most successful networks of local journalism organizations working together collaboratively in the country, one that is being replicated in places like North Carolina,” says Murray. “We bring to the table a deep understanding of the challenges that local publishers face, and that’s unique.”

The full program schedule and speaker roster is available on sustainlocal2016.org. Be sure to use #SustainLocal2016 to follow the conference live.

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