How will your business model for news help transform the information needs of a community?

Author:Galperin, Simon
Position:Wise Advice - Brief article

Community information districts, or info districts, are special service districts that are established to meet the local news and information needs of the communities that fund them.

Info districts are established democratically--by ordinance or referendum--and are funded by a small fee assessed on residents and businesses in a community. They're just like other special district that supports basic public goods for municipalities, including water and sanitation services. Each district is overseen by board representatives of their community. Each community is different, but board members could include local journalists, educators, librarians, residents, business owners, civic technologists and other information stakeholders.

The board reviews and approves applications to fund local news and information projects. The proposals are submitted and then evaluated and approved based on community needs assessments and engagement campaigns. Funding is allocated based on a participatory budgeting process and regular referendums can be...

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