A new generation of venturous news organisations is rising all over Europe. One that is strongly committed to serve its audience and democracy alike through public interest journalism. We call it: The New Sector.

In a new report, Netzwerk Recherche (Germany’s association of investigative journalists) – for the first time – outlines this emerging innovative media scene and takes a closer look at how The New Sector reclaims journalistic terrain that has (at least partly) been neglected by traditional media in the past.

Key take-aways:

  • Growth: In the last ten years, the sector has seen rapid growth.
  • Charitable: About half of the surveyed outlets are legally registered non-profits.
  • Regional Focus: 31% of the news organisations are engaged in local reporting, thereby filling a gap left by legacy media’s trend to withdraw from local journalism.
  • Editorial Emphasis: Almost three quarters of The New Sector are serving their societal role as watchdogs by providing investigative journalism.
  • Revenue Streams: Individual donations and foundation support are the biggest contributors to the diversified flows of income.

What defines members of The New Sector is their “non-profit state of mind” – a mindset based on the conviction of serving an audience, a community and democracy as a whole through public interest journalism. Profit is not the number one priority for these newsrooms.

Instead, they provide much needed coverage for either local audiences and communities or those interconnected across European borders. Thus, they enable informed citizens to make good decisions.

For this report, Netzwerk Recherche evaluated 80 valid responses to an online survey. More detailed results can be found at www.thenewsector.org.

For this joint project Netzwerk Recherche collaborated with Arena for Journalism in Europe and the research institutes ZeMKI at Bremen University as well as Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung (Hans-Bredow-Institut) in Hamburg. The New Sector is funded by Schöpflin Foundation.

Any questions ? Get in touch: newsector@netzwerkrecherche.org