Workshop Note: Kyle Villemain is The Assembly’s editor-in-chief. The below post is a special announcement written by Kyle and shared with the Workshop. We are posting here because the announcement about The Assembly’s plans includes an important detail that has the potential to benefit news organizations across our state. We welcome announcements like this from other publications as well. If you have questions or future submissions for the NC Local News Workshop’s site, please contact executive director Shannan Bowen. Check out the full NC Local newsletter from March 2.
The Assembly, a year-old outlet focused on deeply reported state-level journalism, announces a plan to scale: a community-raised philanthropic start-up fund.
By Kyle Villemain
When The Assembly launched a year ago, we were scrappy to the point of falling apart.
We had a few weeks of cash on hand, an untested idea about how to make more money, and were banking it all on a grand vision for longform reporting about power.
A year later, we’re in a very different place. Every week, we publish a deeply reported longform story. It’s driving subscriber growth. It’s turning heads and shifting institutions. It’s nuanced, complicated journalism for a nuanced, complicated state.
We’re still under-resourced, at least in comparison to a tech startup or a legacy media outlet. But we’re bullish about the path forward and are proud to take a big step towards what’s next.
Today, we’re announcing a new partnership with Journalism Funding Partners, a national nonprofit whose board includes an array of great journalism leaders with ties to North Carolina, including Orage Quarles, Sharif Durhams, Anders Gyllenhaal, and Jim Goodmon. JFP’s mission is to increase the depth, diversity, and sustainability of local journalism by building and stewarding connections between funders and local news organizations.
With JFP as our fiscal sponsor, we’re setting a goal to raise $3 million from individual donors and foundations over the next two years—money that will fund 22 new full-time reporter positions at The Assembly. That funding will sustain the positions for two years; afterwards, The Assembly will assume the costs of maintaining the jobs.
Read moreReimagining State-Level News in North Carolina