Here’s another example of the growing trend of the not-for-profit news entity, as I have been predicting here for a long time now. In the post “Rumours of the death of newspapers have been greatly exaggerated,” for example. In the meantime, the momentum of the not-for-profit news providing sector continues to grow, despite silly rantings from libertarians that corporations need to be allowed to buy up and control all of the remaining newspapers. This is a story about the Center for California Health Care Journalism. Note that this a partnership with the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California. Such not-for-profits will be able to assist cash-strapped newspapers do the quality reporting they need to do.
What’s more, because of the superior moral connectivity of not-for-profit entities, they will be able to out maneuver the for-profit industries, and the not-for profits representing for-profits (for example industry associations, or corporate funded think tanks, or those think tanks which keep their funding secret.) I like especially the quote ‘the center is part of a growing trend of nonprofit…” Within the next year or two we will see the realization grow that newspapers should be non-profits; this idea will rapidly gain traction if a major story is broken by such an entity. There’s nothing that I can see that will reverse this trend. :
The Center for California Health Care Journalism is a new organization formed to report on health care issues that concern Californians. The center is supported by the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and funded by the California HealthCare Foundation.” [Learn more about the center in this brochure (PDF).]
Looking into the future
The center is in the process of hiring two more people. Parks declined to name them because they’ve not yet been formally hired but he did say one has been a reporter at The Orange County Register and the other a reporter at the Sacramento Bee.
Parks said the Center is in talks with the Fresno Bee, the North County Times in Escondido, Calif., and a couple of papers in northern California to do projects.
As far as the goals of the center, Parks says “We are engaged in solutions-based journalism.” That amounts to reporting on issues and problems but also exploring solutions. “We hope these projects create a civil dialogue. …Part of the responsibility of journalists is to go out and examine the solutions.”
Parks sees radio as a medium in which the partnership model could be effective. “I think we would be able to do a lot on the public radio stations. I think we’d be able to do a lot on Spanish language radio.” He acknowledges that doing these kind of projects on television is a real challenge because of equipment and staffing needs, as well as time constraints.
The center is about two months into the six-month trial. Once the trial is over, Parks will report to the foundation for a review.
The center is part of a growing trend of nonprofit organizations actively reporting health stories. In recent months, the Kaiser Family Foundation announced plans for its own Kaiser Health News. The Kansas Health Institute – supported by foundations – employs writers and editors in its own news service, and the foundation-supported Web site Florida Health News collects stories and does some original health reporting.