New Media Outlet Headed For Houston

An as yet unnamed new non-profit news outlet has announced plans to open a region-wide in Houston in late 2022 or early 2023, saying it “will answer the community’s calls for additional news coverage.”

A coalition of five foundations — three of them local — is funding the effort with a plan to spend $20 million on an independent publication. The local philanthropies — the Houston Endowment, the Kinder Foundation and Arnold Ventures — are joined by the journalism foundations American Journalism Project and Knight Foundation.

The non-profit news organization’s coverage will be available for free to readers and other publications.

In the past several years, many journalism outlets have fallen on hard times with employee buyouts, staff shrinkage and publication closures the norm throughout the country. At the same time, the country has seen a rise in non-profits that fund their ventures with money from foundations and other non-traditional sources rather than reader subscriptions.

In most cases, these new non-profit ventures are brought about by people convinced of the importance of an independent news media. Often, as is the case with the Texas Tribune, they make their stories available to other media outlets.

The announcement states that the philanthropic foundations involved “will not have editorial control, review, oversight, or influence over the content beings created or distributed.”

A search committee will look for an editor-in-chief and CEO. That committee will include the following people: Ann Stern, president and CEO, Houston Endowment’ Dr. Anne Chao, manager of the Houston Asian American Archive, Rice University’ Armando Perez, executive vice president H-E-N Houston, chairman, United Way Greater Houston; Jeff Cohen, executive vice president, Arnold Ventures; Reginald DesRosches, Howard R. Hughes Provost and President-Elect, Rice University and Rich Kinder, chairman, Kinder Foundation and executive chairman, Kinder Morgan Inc. 

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