Nonprofit newsrooms turn rivalry into revenue streams

Erica Perel

A recent Better News episode of the It’s all Journalism podcast features Erica Perel, new director of the UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (UNC CISLM), in a segment examining a UNC Table Stakes-inspired fundraising challenge Perel helped create in her former role as general manager of UNC’s student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel (DTH).

Listen to the podcast.

The DTH teamed up with Duke University’s student newspaper The Chronicle to create the Rivalry Challenge around an annual Duke-UNC basketball game, turning it into a revenue maker for both nonprofit newsrooms.

The annual two-week challenge coincides with the basketball season’s first UNC-Duke game, in which both student newspapers compete to see which can raise the most money from their fans. The two newspapers also create content for a special sports edition of their respective papers during the challenge.

The third challenge completed Feb. 6, 2021.

The DTH took part in the 2018-19 cohort of the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative, while The Chronicle took part in the 2019-20 cohort.

The Better News podcast is a partnership between It’s All Journalism and the American Press Institute.

Perel and Chrissy Beck, managing director for The Chronicle, also wrote about the Rivalry Challenge for the API’s Better News initiative.