Announcing the 16 news businesses selected for the 2022 GNI Startups Lab on Managing Money and Risk
These publishers will receive training, coaching and funding to support financial planning and risk management.
In July, we announced our partnership with the Google News Initiative (GNI) to launch the 2022 GNI Startups Labs, which support independent news publishers on the path to sustainability by focusing on topics critical to building a sustainable news business. Now, we’re thrilled to announce the 16 publishers participating in the 2022 GNI Startups Lab on Managing Money and Risk.
These 16 publishers were selected from nearly 100 applicants in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada by demonstrating a commitment to growth and an ability to implement program training based on existing resources, capacity and need. Selected participants are in a good position to build their financial systems and business/legal infrastructure and are looking to shore up their systems and more confidently plan for the future.
The program will provide training, funding and coaching on:
- Navigating risk and uncertainty
- Financial management
- Setting goals
- Developing key business and financial documents
- Growth opportunities
The publishers will be supported by an incredible group of coaches: John Davidow, Eric Johnston, Ingrid Marielos Marthy and Graham Watson-Ringo (more information below).
“In line with the Google News Initiative’s efforts to enable a thriving local news ecosystem, we are proud to once again partner with LION to support an exciting cohort of emerging digital publishers,” said Conor Crowley, Head of GNI Startups Program. “I can’t wait to see what these news entrepreneurs accomplish through participating in this GNI Startups Lab, as they build their financial sustainability to better grow and serve significant unmet news needs in innovative new ways.”
Congratulations to all the participants!
Interest in the Lab: Financial health is the weakest part of our strategic planning. We’re doing the best we can to work with trainings, resources and advice from experts, but it’s a steep learning curve. I think this lab will be an opportunity to have a lot of great information and advice in one place where we can ask questions as we implement it.
Mission: AfroLA’s mission is to find, celebrate and share intersectionality and universality in the Black experience. “Afro Angeleno,” or AfroLA, celebrates diversity in backgrounds and unity in culture and experiences within L.A. and beyond. “Afro” is also a nod to the change in identity language during the Civil Rights era and rise of the Black Power movement. We’re Black, proud and make no apologies for either. AfroLA leans into the fact that no form of Blackness is a monolith. We are who we are – no matter what shade our skin is or where we call home. AfroLA celebrates it all without pause. We are: Unapologetic. Black. Los Angeles.
Interest in the Lab: Our revenue is not planned, robust and consistent.
Mission: Empowering Hyper-Cultural Latinas With Essential News + Stories Covering Ground Beyond The Usual You See.
Interest in the Lab: I am new to this business and didn’t get into it with the idea that one day the news publication would be bringing in income. I want to learn about how to establish this publication as a business and save myself from headaches and financial/personal issues down the road by starting off on the right foot.
Mission: By providing timely, accessible news, Burlington Buzz increases awareness, involvement and connection among Burlington residents.
Interest in the Lab: It’s the area I spent the least amount of time on and have the least amount of knowledge and training on. I want to know how much money I have to work with at all times. I want to be smart about spending and saving.
Mission: We’re an amplification company. Amplify underrepresented voices. Facilitate conversations to spark meaningful change. Ensure humans are treated fairly and get a fair wage. Form communities of like-minded individuals that allow humans to live authentically as they move through the world.
Interest in the Lab: I have no formal money management training and need all the help I can get.
Mission: The mission of the non-profit Four Points Media, Inc. is to work independently and in collaboration to enrich the minds, spirits and lives of those in Indian Country by producing meaningful stories through the production of timely published and audio works, through the news website Four Points Press, Four Points Productions Podcast Network, and Four Points Publishing House.
Interest in the Lab: We are a new organization and learning from experts will help us reduce future mistakes.
Mission: To encourage and support increased civic engagement by members of underserved populations by producing and distributing news, training, and current events information in the Spanish language. To provide underserved populations with the knowledge necessary to engage in in-depth analysis and become advocates for good government, human rights, community, education, and social progress in Wisconsin. To support the development of new Hispanic & Latino journalists to support this purpose and to promote critical thinking and robust debate in the areas of government accountability, civil rights, racism, and equality among all peoples.
Interest in the Lab: As a new business owner, this is the perfect time to receive all the knowledge that I can find. I am constantly looking for new information related to entrepreneurship, sustainability, and projections. This will be an excellent opportunity to evolve my business, explore new ideas, and learn how to keep my financial side up to date.
Mission: Mundos Paralelos helps members of the Puerto Rican community, no matter their location, who seek coverage that reflects the nuances and diversity of the Puerto Rican experience by expanding the imagination of the identity with inclusive reporting about the cultural stories about the millions of Boricuas that live outside the Island and have left their mark in the Diaspora.
Interest in the Lab: We are working on becoming economically sustainable and need to start running our newsletter like a business. But we need to develop a financial planning system and need to know how to keep a budget and pay our part-time editors. We are also looking for alternative funding sources in addition to our subscriber base.
Interest in the Lab: This program will allow The E’ville Good to prosper as we grow our subscriber base, add new team members, and create a plan to be excellent stewards of what we have.
Mission: The E’ville Good is a team of English speakers and Spanish Speakers presenting the news in northwest Iowa and Southwest Minnesota together. Imagine if NPR and YES! Magazine had a baby who loves data and is bilingual.
Interest in the Lab: I am two months shy of completing my first full year in business, so this fall would be a good time to make sure all the necessary financial documents are in place; therefore going through an essential documents checklist as part of this lab would be helpful. I also don’t have a risk mitigation plan on paper so I would use the time to develop that as well.
Mission: The Flatlander helps people understand the complex issues impacting Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It tells the stories of Prairie people and explores the communities and land we call home.
Interest in the Lab: We’re hoping to learn how to make the best of our revenue and become sustainable as a new digital publication. We have recently received a grant that has allowed us to expand our coverage, advertising, budget and fundraising opportunities; we hope this program will teach us how to use this money wisely.
Mission: The Hoser is an independent digital news media publication that focuses on local news in the Greater Toronto Area. The Hoser aims to bring community journalism back to the GTA. Stories look at the root of the problem, analyze systemic issues, and give voice to people who are directly affected and aren’t normally interviewed in mainstream news media.
Interest in the Lab: The Objective was founded as a volunteer-run organization in 2020. While we’ve made great strides in growth, we’re still at a pivotal moment: How we sustain and grow our organization is front-of-mind right now. While we now can pay our contributors, our leadership team is still volunteer. We hope that the resources and training offered by this program will give us an extra push toward getting to sustainability.
Mission: The Objective is a nonprofit newsroom building collective and narrative power for communities that have been misrepresented or dismissed in order to change the way journalism is practiced in the U.S.
Interest in the Lab: We are driven to build a community-news outlet that is sustainable. Our community (the suburbs of Chicago) deserves and needs local news that is responsible and reliable. As trained journalists, we must be better equipped with more budgeting, projecting and forecasting skills.
Mission: The Record Community News is dedicated to producing credible, courageous, community-first journalism on a variety of platforms, including a daily website and weekly newsletters and podcasts. Our goal is to build a reliable and sustainable community-news outlet that enables a better informed and engaged local populace and a more educated and understanding future generation of news consumers.
Interest in the Lab: Although our business is profitable, we know very little about managing money in an organized way. We want to be more professional in that area, to be able to forecast and look back and learn lessons.
Mission: To bring local, Wellesley news to the people who live and work in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Interest in the Lab: As we seek to expand the team, having a solid financial plan and strong accounting framework will allow us, among other things, to better support our staff, bolster our credibility with potential funders, and improve our output. With the sporadic nature of grants and donations, questions around risk and money management are a top priority in ensuring The Yappie’s long-term sustainability.
Mission: A first-of-its-kind newsroom, dedicated to informing and empowering the next generation of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders and voters.
Interest in the Lab: I am looking to professionalize our bookkeeping and ensure that our business records are up to date.
Mission: The Vallejo Sun is an independent news publication illuminating Solano County, California, with in-depth reporting about local government, policing, and extremist movements in the region.
Managing Money and Risk Lab Coaches
Eric began in journalism as a part-time photojournalist for the local community newspaper. In the mid-90’s, and after three years as a community newspaper photojournalist, Eric saw the coming digital transformation and pivoted his career to the burgeoning online space. As a self-taught web designer and engineer, he worked for the next 15 years to build audience, revenue and adoption of the still-growing digital news environment. In 2009 Eric was named Publisher and President of McClatchy Company publications The Modesto Bee and The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley. Eric was the first Publisher in the 150-year history of the company to come from digital operations; during his tenure the publications leaned into digital audience and revenue growth – an emphasis that continues today. In 2014 Eric joined the Seattle-based Pioneer News Group as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for more than 24 publications and 500 employees across five northwest states. Dedicated to the preservation of community publishers and journalism, Eric currently works with a variety of ownership groups to strengthen efforts across their operations including digital, audience and organizational structure. Eric, a member of the Board of Directors for the California Press Foundation, lives in California with his wife Susan.
Graham Wastson-Ringo, a 20-year journalism veteran, is a senior director at the News Revenue Hub in charge of client success and the point of contact for the organization’s newest tech venture, the News Revenue Engine, which will allow any organization to stand up a sustainable reader revenue program. A proud Mizzou graduate and Online News Association board member, Graham has worked for major metros, digital behemoths, and scrappy digital nonprofit startups, and is a lover of the full-funnel approach, well-crafted CTAs, making a budget and sticking to it, risky business, killer UX, and insider journalism speak.
Ingrid Marielos Marthy
Ingrid Marielos Marthy is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, holding a BSBA with a concentration in International Business and an MBA. During the first 10 years of her career, Ingrid worked in the corporate sector interning at a financial firm and has worked in operations throughout the years. In 2017, Ingrid came across an opportunity to coach small businesses in the non-profit sector to create more sustainable business models. Ingrid has served as the Women’s Business Center Director, an SBA-sponsored program, in Fayetteville, NC, and San Francisco, CA, where she designed and implemented programs specifically for women entrepreneurs that have impacted over 1,000 women annually. She has directly helped over 75 entrepreneurs start, formalize, and expand their businesses. Ingrid is bilingual in English and Spanish. In her spare time, she loves to travel, discover new food, and meet new people.
John Davidow is a journalist with over 30 years of experience leading major local digital, radio, and television newsrooms. He is a respected public radio innovator and digital strategist. John is a founder of Media Bridge Partners. Media Bridge Partners works to improve and transform the internal culture of news organizations and arm teams with the awareness and skills to support people from historically marginalized backgrounds within their ranks. John is a moderator of the Open News DEI Coalition for Anti-Racist, Equitable, and Just Newsrooms. He is currently the acting chief of staff at the National Trust for Local News.
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