Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of news organizations are you looking for?

We are focused on very small news organizations that target unserved or underserved communities. At this time, we can only support organizations in the United States. Read our eligibility requirements for more details.

Do I need journalism experience to found a Tiny News Organization?

We do not require professional journalism experience to be a member of the Collective. We're looking for people who are interested in building place-based local news in areas unserved or underserved by the current news ecosystem. We are especially interested in founders who come from backgrounds historically and systematically shut out of media ownership.

What is Tiny News Collective’s definition of community?

We want to help founders serve a community however you define it. Your geographical footprint may vary depending on where you are and what community you are trying to serve

What if my organization is already up and running?

In some cases we do accept founders who already have existing sites, and functioning businesses or nonprofits. But our focus is supporting founders who are just getting started, which means the Collective may or may not be the best option for you. For example, we do not offer migration of content or any other aspect of an existing news business to TNC. The only option for an existing site is for you to manually copy over content to our platform or to archive the old content and begin publishing on the TNC platform. If you aren’t sure, feel free to get in touch and we can discuss all the options.

Do members have to use the entire technology stack?

For Collective members, the answer is yes. The Tiny News Platform is a full-featured publishing platform, and includes a CMS, ads, membership, payments, newsletters, comments and various back office functions to help streamline your accounting. The configuration is the same for all founders, which is why we can offer it at a fraction of what it would cost a founder to buy them separately. You can choose to use or not use parts of the TNC platform, but we don’t offer any plugin support or support for alternative third-party services.

What revenue streams are supported by TNC?

Our technology stack makes it possible for you to pursue multiple kinds of revenue streams such as donations, newsletter sponsorships or local advertising. We don’t prescribe what your revenue strategy has to be. We facilitate your ability to experiment and test in order to figure out what works best for your organization and your audience.

How do I sign up?

When our applications open, it will be announced on our homepage, guide to applying and in our monthly newsletter. In the meantime, you can sign up as an interested founder and we'll reach out with more information to help you refine your idea and prepare for applying. If you aren't applying but know of someone who you think might be a great fit for the collective, you can nominate a founder and we'll reach out to them.

How much does the Tiny News Collective cost?

The Collective offers the platform, training, legal assistance, back-office services and everything else for $150 per month -- a fraction of what it would cost on the open market.

What are the services the Tiny News Collective is offering?

The Tiny News Collective offers a low-cost, all-inclusive platform for building a news organization from scratch, with training and support to help you design and implement your organization's publishing and business strategy. We offer technology, training, fiscal sponsorship and other services. LION membership is included in the cost, giving founders access to additional training and an entire community to learn from. You can find more detail in our Collective Resources.

Who is working on the Tiny News Collective?

The Tiny News Collective is a collaborative project between News Catalyst and LION Publishers. See our about page for our full team.

Is there funding available to founders through the collective?

We do not provide startup funding to the members of the Collective. Our focus is primarily reducing the costs, risks and time that it takes to get your organization started. We do connect founders with funding opportunities whenever the opportunity arises.

Will it be publicly announced if I join the collective?

It is optional. Founders may choose to include their name and site in our periodic announcements, but it is not required.

How long can I be in the Collective?

Our goal is to support new founders as they plan, build, test and grow their organization to a point where they are bringing in revenue and have some stability. Sustainability means different things to different people but our hope is that founders can reach a level of sustainability within about two years in the Collective. We define success as founders outgrowing their need for our resources and support and wanting to migrate to a technology stack that can accommodate a growing team. We help you with this transition. Read more about the collective experience here.

How easy is it to leave the Collective when a news organization is ready?

Your organization is yours and you can depart the Collective when you feel it is the right time for you. Our goal is to raise organizations to digital sustainability. Once they reach that point, we will encourage organizations to leave The Collective and become independent. Everything you’ve created, from your content to your mailing lists is yours and goes with you when you’re ready.

We are working closely with Newspack, a project of and the Google News Initiative, to ensure that when one of our newsrooms is ready to move to their platform, the migration will be seamless.

The Tiny News Collective is a collaborative project.

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