A Sense of Belonging: Rethinking Membership Models for Journalism with Melody Kramer

Josh Stearns
Mar 23, 2015 · 4 min read

Give People A Chance to Be A Part of Something

A few months ago Melody Kramer asked “So what could we do to strengthen people’s relationships with public radio and with their communities at the same time, while at the same time strengthening public radio’s relationship with the public?” She has turned that question into a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and is working with local stations to develop creative answers.

Photo of MOMA membership sign by Maria Popova, used via creative commons.

Redefining Value Between Newsrooms and Communities

Value for the newsroom could mean donations or subscriptions, or it could mean time, code, and other kinds of support. Value for the public could mean advancing their own learning, connecting and networking with others, improving their community or even getting some physical benefits like coupons or totebags.

Look Beyond Journalism to Understand Membership

I recently joined a new co-working space. The organization charges less than any other local work spaces because its members also teach public classes and offer collaborative peer-to-peer trainings. It is not just funded, but also managed, through in-depth participation from all its members.

A sign at the author’s co-working space

The Engaged Journalism Lab

Welcome to the Engaged Journalism Lab, a project of Democracy Fund. Here you'll find blog posts, case studies, event recaps, and more ― all centered around building trusted, inclusive, and audience-driven journalism.

Josh Stearns

Written by

Director, Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund. Journalism and democracy of, by and for the people. Formerly: @grdodge @freepress

The Engaged Journalism Lab

Welcome to the Engaged Journalism Lab, a project of Democracy Fund. Here you'll find blog posts, case studies, event recaps, and more ― all centered around building trusted, inclusive, and audience-driven journalism.