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Representative Journalism: Making It Work

Let’s say our Representative Journalism was a community of people interested in an economic opportunity and development reporter in a relatively economically depressed area. We estimate the total cost for that reporter including salary, benefits, editing support and newsroom overhead costs will be approximately $100,000 a year. To pay for it, the network weaver, either a commissioned community member or a circulation employee will seek out and build a community of 1000 people each willing to pay $100 a year to access a special online site devoted entirely to economic opportunity and development news for their local area.

Some of that news will also go into the general paper, but the Representative Journalism community will get premium coverage at this highly interactive Representative Journalism online site.

In addition, the community of 1000, we assume, will include people extremely interested in the topic and who collectively might well know more than the reporter. At any rate there will be deep conversation with the reporter, who will be providing everything from news to white papers to stoke the conversation.

2 Responses to “Representative Journalism: Making It Work”

  1. Noah Kunin Says:

    These are ideas I’ve been bouncing around among friends for a while – good to see somebody putting them down on screen.

    Have you thought about using readers as co-owners?


  2. Leonard Witt Says:

    Hi Noah:

    Tell me more about your thoughts on readers as co-owners. Also check out Chris Peck's
    Next Newsroom
    proposal. It is about community ownership.

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About RJ

  • Your host

    Leonard Witt

    Leonard Witt is the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and the chief blogger at

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  • What I'm thinking about

  • A Definition

    Representative Journalism, a term coined by Leonard Witt, aims to build sustainable journalism one small group at a time.

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  • Your Role

    Leonard Witt has been developing the Representative Journalism idea behind the scenes for several months. Now he is going public. You can help develop the concept into a workable model or models for mainstream media, small operations, start-ups or individual endeavors.

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