Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Model Partnership in Charlottesville

A great post at the Nieman Lab site today by my colleague Mac Slocum. He writes about the partnership between The Daily Progress, the daily paper in Charlottesville, Va., and a local journalism nonprofit, Charlottesville Tomorrow, which focuses exclusively on growth and development issues.

Mac's article shows several of the strengths of the nonprofit model and its potential for partnering with traditional media that no longer can afford to perform basic watchdog functions for their communities.

A key point of Mac's article is that this was no shotgun marriage. It was relationship built on hard work and mutual respect. And, Mac notes, Charlottesville Tomorrow took several crucial steps to gain credibility: It put in place appropriate governance procedures; it took fundraising and financial management seriously, and it built a track record of good work.

This model might not work in every community, but it shows what role nonprofits can play at the local level in providing a service that technological and economic forces have revealed as a public good.

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