What Makes a Nonprofit News Organization Legitimate?

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Jim Barnett posed the question: What makes a nonprofit news organization legitimate? It’s a question that nonprofits and their critics have been wrestling with for some time now. And as more nonprofits launch into the news business, having a good answer will be crucial to their survival as credible providers of news.

Barnett’s best practices include:

Resource/mission alignment:
— The case for philanthropy is linked to editorial independence and objectivity.
— The organization solicits small donations and/or other forms of grassroots support.
— The organization’s board of directors operates on a volunteer basis.

Transparency of mission and operations:
— The organization’s financial statements are posted online.
— The organization’s major donors are named online.
— The organization has clear accountability measures for its publications.

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