Arizona State University/Cronkite News: Project Summary

ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism operates both Arizona PBS and Cronkite News, a statewide community news service and a daily news program produced by students and seen by 2+million viewers on Arizona PBS.

Cronkite News will test crowdfunding approaches, both direct and combined with social media campaigns, to fund expansion of its Borderlands coverage of immigration and Latino issues.

As many universities become more active in community coverage in “teaching hospital” models, this experiment tests if the general public will support this coverage. Cronkite News will analyze and share with the industry what types of public donors emerged — from the university community, public media supporters, community-centered givers and those interested in the topic of coverage, for example.

Reviewers judged this a good test with potentially far-reaching results for student journalism coverage of community and state issues, and for those PBS stations affiliated with universities. The results of this experiment will help inform whether crowdfunding is a viable revenue stream for school-based journalism.