Metro Pulse was a profitable weekly paper in Knoxville when corporate media operator Scripps shut it down in 2014. Reporter and local history expert Jack Neely and others brainstormed with local supporters, and created a hybrid funding model that relies heavily on individual donors. With IRS approval, they created the nonprofit Knoxville History Project, which can take tax-deductible donations that in turn fund the Knoxville Mercury newspaper and website. After a year in operation, they have “a couple of thousand” supporters, and have recently hired an investigative reporter. It’s an interesting funding model for independent media, like the one we have envisioned for Newsbud.
*Jack Neely is contributing editor, columnist, occasional feature writer, and crossword-puzzle co-author at the Knoxville Mercury. He’s also executive director of the 501c3 educational nonprofit called the Knoxville History Project.
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