September 23, 2020

The News Product Alliance launched today, offering a community for people who work in news product management.

What’s that again, you might wonder?

“Product management is a framework or set of tools to help organizations align audience, technology and revenue goals to develop an effective business model,” said Becca Aaronson Davis, interim president of the NPA steering committee, in an email. “In news organizations, product managers also add editorial goals and our journalistic integrity to the equation.”

This kind of work in a newsroom can be tough, she said. Aaronson Davis knows because she’s worked in this role at Chalkbeat and The Texas Tribune.

“Building a sustainable, digital-first news organization is hard work,” she said. “You must continually align editorial, audience, technology and revenue goals to maintain a successful business model.”

The group hopes to provide support and resources to people working in product roles around the world, and that by doing so, help people from traditionally marginalized communities move up in their newsrooms and build news products that meet a variety of needs.

“Not only do news organizations need more leaders from immigrant, indigenous and other marginalized communities, but too often, product strategy by people of color and women in engagement or audience roles is under appreciated or unacknowledged,” she said.

NPA plans to provide training and help new product leaders emerge, Aaronson Davis said.

NPA’s interim steering committee includes people from a number of news organizations, including CalMatters, Gannett and McClatchy. It’s also getting initial institutional support from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and News Catalyst.

For more information, you can reach NPA at hello@newsproduct.org.

Kristen Hare covers the business and people of local news for Poynter.org and is the editor of Locally. You can subscribe to her weekly newsletter here. Kristen can be reached at khare@poynter.org or on Twitter at @kristenhare.

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Kristen Hare covers the people and business of local news and is the editor of Locally at Poynter. She previously worked as a staff writer…
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