Guiding Principles

After a day and a half of discussions as one group and in 11 smaller group sessions, the Pocantico participants molded six themes and guiding principles that they considered essential when considering how to help independent journalism become stronger and more resilient in the face of such transformation in the news media ecosystem.

The mix of journalism, academic and philanthropy professionals gathered there used these principles to determine what target areas needed to be explored further and what action steps they would settle on before leaving the Pocantico gathering.

They are:

Diversifying and Democratizing Impact

  • End white supremacy in journalism
  • Democratize:
    • Who is a journalist
    • What kind of journalism is produced
    • Who is a trusted source
  • Journalists who fully represent this country’s myriad realities
  • Journalism that fully captures the on-the-ground impact of government policies, corporate misdeeds, etc.

Broad-based Funding Mechanisms

  • Recurring
  • Independent of special government interests
  • Accountable, democratic distribution
  • Multi-platform outlets
  • Contributions small enough to be affordable

Empower Your Community

  • Put community and its information needs at the heart of you work
  • Move away from unidirectional journalism (We produce, you consume.)
  • Listen more, assume less
  • Generate revenue and impact

Grow Public Awareness of the Value of Independent Journalism

  • Develop branding and messaging
  • Target, Test
  • Disseminate


– Social media
– Advertising and PR
– Advocacy
– Community Convening and Engagement
– Media literacy and education
– Monetize

Recognize and Communicate Best Practices and Failed Experiments

  • Identify services, entities, networks that can share and communicate…
    • Freelancers Union
    • Outlet Associations like TMC, INN, AAN, etc.
    • NAHJ, NABJ, etc.
  • Foster services, entities, peer-to-peer networks where they don’t already exist
  • Invite/Bring new players to the table
    • Millenials
    • Hackers
    • Community

Develop Brands with National Reach and Impact

  • Build more media brands with significant national audiences:
    • D. existing organizations with talent, leadership, strategy and addressable weaknesses
    • Resources commensurate with needs
    • Sustain support, subject to reasonable objectives over a reasonable timeframe