Why are we sharing our database records?
We are doing this because we want to turn this database into a living document where we can get a better understanding of the local news landscape. Although we aren’t actively working in local news on the ground, we have some skin in the game due to the nature of our business. If local news progresses and builds healthy relationships with their communities, we build a better product.
Even though we are very far from our go-to-market, the way local newsrooms have received us has made us feel that we are part of a growing community. It is a huge responsibility to stand up to the expectations of those who support you, even if you’ve never met them.
We are building Qurio with you and for you, building it in public, and that’s why we want to be in constant dialogue with you.
Look at all those (empty) fields
Building this database was one of the easiest and hardest things we put ourselves into doing. It was an obvious decision because we knew we needed the data to help us navigate the rich and complex media ecosystem. It was a hard decision because it meant we should get comfortable with the idea that it would never be complete and might contain a few inaccuracies.
Obviously, not everything recorded is needed, and not everything needed is recorded. We may have gone too far into areas that didn’t require that much attention, while at the same time, we are aware that we have gaps regarding, e.g., international newsrooms, non-English speaking media, and non-digital media like newspapers. We hope these gaps will be filled as time goes by.
Also, as you may have noticed, there are a lot of empty cells down there 😊 It’s not that we got lazy halfway through the project, but rather that we didn’t find the right opportunity to research and cover that specific area of the board yet. Is El Nuevo Día a local newsroom? Who knows? Is Las Vegas Weekly a newsroom or a newspaper? Who can tell? Is Arkansas Times a nonprofit newsroom? I wish I knew!
Finally, the database is a living object, and it changes a lot in content and context. What you see is NOT the definitive version of the database since new data requires new notations and connotations. But more on that in the last paragraphs of this blog post…
How to work on the database
We have chosen to share the four main views of our Airtable database. Every iteration of our database is instantly available through those views.
We provide limited public access to the data, but you can copy or download the data as you wish. We are also open to partnerships with academia or research projects close to the news & media ecosystem. So don’t be afraid to reach out to us with your ideas!
The first table covers individual media of all shapes and sizes, from large, established newsrooms to digital startups to individual creators.
For each media, we keep track of the following:
- their type [e.g. newsroom, publication, radio station, etc.],
- if they are local
- or niche,
- their stated legal status,
- their social attributes
- their revenue streams [advertising, subscriptions, donations, paywall]
- their technology stack [e.g. WordPress, News Revenue Hub, etc.]
- their location.
Moreover, we keep track of their connections with Organizations and Partners, if they are part of a Media Company, and a list of known audience engagement efforts.
Source data: https://airtable.com/shrMKvJlh394kEQJb
2. Organizations & Partners
Nonprofit organizations and partners are a huge part of the news and media ecosystem. Institutions such as LION Publishers or the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) are fundamental to the prosperity and growth of media organizations. We hope you will find a new potential ally on this table.
Source data: https://airtable.com/shrbmHQ0I82ZP2p7d
3. Media Companies
Approximately one in four media we have recorded are part of larger media companies and groups.
However, not all media groups are the same, and to be honest, we started by giving our attention to smaller, local-based, or niche-based media groups.
The original data regarding the associations between newsrooms and media companies have mainly come from the group’s website directory or from the website footer signatures of the newsrooms themselves. On a few rarer occasions, we have found associations through original coverage and reporting.
In any case, we are not accountable for yet unrecorded changes in the ownership status of media or media companies, you are expected to use this data only as indications and not as hard data, and you are always advised to confirm this information yourselves for further research and reporting.
Source data: https://airtable.com/shrVOmiPS6FO57YGZ
4. Engagements with audience
IMHO, this is the juiciest and most unique part of the database!
Qurio is an Audience Engagement Platform, and interacting with your audience is a fundamental practice that we wanted to keep track of. We started by recording callout surveys, later expanded to reader surveys, and as time went by, we added Quizzes and Polls.
As we speak, Qurio lets you run surveys for your audience for all those use cases (did we mention that you can try Qurio now?).
Source data: https://airtable.com/shrhDYXeX5aSpvPPH
We would like to talk with you for the same reasons that newsrooms and media should talk to their audience:
- Get facts together
Putting our data out in public is something that we don’t take it lightly. We always act in good faith, but there is always room for error, we are aware of that, and we would like your help improving the quality of this data for everyone.
- Get closer to our community
Titles and attributes have meanings a simple data table cannot properly describe and comprehend. Journalism itself is a practice that intertwines with politics, social issues, community topics, history, or language. We believe we have done our homework but are always open to discussions!
- Get feedback and improve
Sharing this data means nothing to us if it doesn’t bring value to the people and institutions within the news & media ecosystem. We are listening hard to feedback, and we are open to suggestions about how to improve.
We have some questions!