Survey participants described the kind of the journalism they want:
- Unbiased: no partisan bent
- In-Depth: deep dive investigative reporting
- Integrated: reporters embed in the community they cover
- Solutions Oriented: 60% of respondents said current coverage is more focused on problems than solutions.
More Fort Worth residents’ opinions were drawn from focus groups. Key findings revealed concern about:
- Lack of accountability in local government and agencies
- Lack of insight into how school districts and other large agencies are managed
- Lack of local coverage that could lead to corruption and leaders who are not held accountable
- Important issues going uncovered until it’s too late and have turned into a crisis
- Existing reporting does not responsibly cover communities of color
They are dissatisfied and frustrated by:
- Lack of broad coverage and lack of depth of issues covered
- Geographic distance between the reporters and the community they cover
- Lack of news content having historical context, explanation or analysis
- Laziness or sloppy reporting that can potentially harm a community, organization or person
- Lack of continuity in reporting and continual staff turnover
And, they want to see journalism that:
- Challenges existing opinions with ideas backed by facts and evidence
- Includes diverse sources, not just the same go-to people for a reliable quote
- Maintains transparency in editorial approach
- Is unafraid to stand up to politicians and fact-check them on statements
- Includes reporters building relationships with the communities they cover
- Gives residents the tools to act and be a part of a solution
The News Revenue Hub research provides clarity for community-based content for a media organization to serve Fort Worth audiences. Using that information, The Fort Worth Report will not seek to compete with existing media’s models, but fill the community’s news and information gap that the research underscored.
Fort Worth has a tradition of preserving its identity, attempting to right its wrongs, protecting its quality of life and advancing its citizens’ rights to participate in a free society, even when such efforts were not perfect. An independent local news organization with broad-based community support is critical to such a tradition. The Fort Worth Report is on a journey to deliver that.
The Fort Worth Report’s basic online news will be provided without a paywall – i.e., content is provided free to site visitors – though it should be possible in the future to offer highly specialized content via paid subscription, as some in this arena aim to do. The main revenue streams will come from individual and business memberships, donations, advertising, sponsorships and foundations. National resources are also available for potential incremental support, financial or otherwise, such as media-related foundations like the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.