I’ve spent this summer intensely exploring what kind of business model would serve the mission of Free Press.
It’s been a time of talking with those who run PR firms, people who know nothing about running a publication, and those who have nearly 40 years of experience in the news publishing industry.
We have become accustomed to many news sources being nonprofit organizations. And so that has been the discussion I’ve had repeatedly with some who just assume that’s the direction I would take Free Press.
And I even assumed that for the first year I was focused on building our news credibility.
But the deeper I have worked into the question of how to build Free Press into a larger news source for Oklahoma City, the more I keep coming back to a for-profit model that continues to depend on some donations, but mostly sponsorships and smart, nonintrusive advertising.
The key question that rose to the top of the list of questions was this:
What business model would serve the mission of Free Press by keeping us closest to the street, community and neighborhoods?
Connecting with small, local businesses that serve our neighborhoods to meet their advertising needs will keep us closest to that mission.
The next several Shoe-leather posts will develop these ideas further.