We appreciated your column on intermediaries -- something we've noticed and been discouraged by at our small newspaper from the get go. We are not a nonprofit, though we have a partnership with one we launched alongside our newspaper to fund our educational mission. It supports fellowships for generation reporters which has been challenging and wonderful for us, and it's thrilling, too, to watch these young writers go on to pursue "bigger" journalism goals and jobs (we are a small weekly). But at the paper, we are trying to make it on community advertising and investment. I wonder if you might report on some of Google's initiatives that we have looked at and that leave us lukewarm: We've found that their work with Wordpress on Newspak and now Knight + Google at Indiegraf now come with requirement not just to receive their advice on what to monetize and how (that will be good for us! But obits will monetized at our community newspaper over our dead bodies), but also to purchase their platforms into the future. It doesn't feel right. Are we applying for help becoming more effective at mission-driven work that benefits our communities or to become their customers? Does the former really require the latter?

Expand full comment