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SALLY DUROS Twitter @saduros Welcome to the birth of journalism as a social enterprise!

! The truth is that journalism has never had a business model of its own. Its always been a useful component of some other business model, said Steve Yelvington, noted thinker on revenue models for news. Journalism has always been subsidized by commercial operations, Yelvington says. It has always been embedded in some other system. So my position is that for the first time, journalism has the potential to be thrown from its newspaper nest and born to a higher expression as a crucible for civic life. Just as the economy is seeking a foothold to stem foreclosures, create jobs, feed people and improve our lives and communities in systemic and sustainable ways, Journalism is now preparing to crawl, then toddle and start to walk on its own. The two can be coupled. Could we bring together economic metrics and journalism in a mutually supportive system and change the way our society measures wealth while also changing the way we pay for journalism? To me, this idea naturally flows out of the disruption we are currently experiencing in our economy, media and shift to the knowledge age. This disruption is an opportunity for accelerated social change. It will make room for new ways of doing business. Among these is expansion of the business form known as social enterprise. Rather than maximizing shareholder value, the primary aim of social enterprises is to generate profit to further their social and/or environmental goals, says Wikipedia. When I first wrote about the idea of an L3C newsroom, I was attracted to the idea of allowing news organizations to put journalism first, instead of treating it as an afterthought. My inspiration was Jennfer Towery, President of the Peoria Newspaper Guild and also Neighbors Editor for the Peoria Journal Star "We are looking at longterm ownership that puts journalism first," Towery told me. "[The L3C] just resonated. It has so much potential." Jennifer and I have not spoken in a while but I know that she is busy with children and homelife and a job. The Windmill tilting union doesnt pay a living wage. Ask me offline and Ill be happy to explain why I say that.

We were at a pivotal moment here in Chicago in early 2009 and I was on a committee that was strategizing funding initiatives for Chicagos news blogosphere. Weve moved past that time now. Thanks to funding efforts by the Chicago Community Trust, such as their Community News Matters program and others, new players and new energy have been pumped into the local blogosphere. So many old assumptions have been torn up and tossed to the wind since then. Disruption yes! And out of it rises a new worldview. My worldview sees a continued broadening of capitalism to embrace concepts like Shared Value, which was discussed by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer in a recent Harvard Business Review. The principle of shared value involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. Businesses must reconnect company success with social progress, Porter and Kramer say. Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success. It is not on the margin of what companies do but at the center. We believe that it can give rise to the next major transformation of business thinking. In addition, talk to folks at the MIT Enterprise forum and elsewhere and youll understand new systems and metrics are being created to measure how we the people create our economies locally. Connect the dots: Journalism has been laid bare as a tasty nugget of Democracy now decoupled from its long-time swaddling of funding from advertising. It needs a new funding stream. Investment from a local foundation could provide seed capital for the L3C newsroom. Bringing added value to the L3C newsroom could be measures of the local economy using new tools that could fuel advertising and additional community investment. Could new metrics [and new technologies] that measure [say] wealthbuilding in a local economy become the fuel for a rebirth of journalism to its calling as a community town crier? Could these two reinventions work together to create a sustainable system a virtuous circle of jobs, housing, food, retirement and all of lifes necessities? Could foundations looking to create sustainable and systemic change finance this virtuous circle? In this kind of system, wealth would reflect the amount of juice created by people in their local economy. This new economy would include activities in the informal economy that are currently not measured. Our current system including the advertising being developed on the Internet creates

choke points for revenue. But what about a system that measured the juicy good that connects us together in community. These are just the beginning glimmers of an idea. Some of the fundamental ideas are laid out in the accompanying Power Point slides. Since I first wrote about the potential of the L3C newsroom, I have attended conferences of the Social Enterprise Alliance, BALLE and the PRI-Makers [a group of 100 foundations who make PRIs for systemic change. I have also attended the FTC hearings on the Future of News, CitiCamp Chicago [Gov2.0] and dozens of events in Chicago about the future of news, as well as numerous technology- and journalism-based events. Thanks to the generosity of Bill Densmore and the Reynolds Journalism Institute, I was able to attend Journalism that Matters- Detroit. Through this self-financed travel and research including interviews, conversations, readings, watching and listening I have been quietly connecting the dots between the worlds of journalism, social enterprise and local economy to create a blue sky model for the L3C [social enterprise] newsroom. My challenges? Because I am self-supporting and currently self-employed, time is stretched to enable public reporting on my findings. Ive not had the time to fully synthesize them into clear language and draft operational model[s]. I have taped recordings, writings and notes that I would like to deliver to a wider audience of those active in this field. I see a vast and fascinating body of research ahead and the possibility of full implementation of a beta. In addition, I am working solo, outside a community of practitioners working on similar issues. Although I have friends in Chicago at the journalism schools, and among new media entrepreneurs their time is limited. I yearn for a more direct connection to the nationwide journalism community, where I can experience discussion and push back on my ideas so they can grow, be clarified and be impelmented. If you value this work, can you find a way to support it? Please contact me at SallyDuros AT