I am writing on behalf of the Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple University to share the following update to the Philadelphia public interest journalism community regarding changes at AxisPhilly. The board of Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network Inc. has asked CPIJ to lead a restructuring of the AxisPhilly project in light of its inability to raise sufficient second-round funding to support an aggressive initial business model. To facilitate that restructuring, Neil Budde has proposed and the board agreed to eliminate the position of CEO of PPIIN/AxisPhilly. The board and CPIJ leadership are grateful for Neil’s service in developing the initial plans for AxisPhilly, incorporating and staffing the organization and overseeing significant meaningful reporting, data journalism, and community engagement efforts on a range of topics.
The Center is planning to host a brief restructuring process that will include the input of existing staff and local public interest journalism community stakeholders with long associations with the project. This process is expected to commence immediately and be completed in two to three months. In the interim, AxisPhilly will continue to operate with existing staff and produce public interest news with the oversight of the Center. The Center has no preconceived notions about the outcomes of the process, but expects the restructured Axis to continue to strive for the outcomes defined in its initial planning process:
- Support a network of public interest journalists and data providers in establishing credibility as a source of news and public information through quality content development and strong distribution partnerships;
- Encourage the network to achieve sustainability through diverse financial support and multiple revenue streams;
- Support the expansion and diversification of civic engagement in public decision-making through the network;
- Increase the public’s understanding of significant issues of public interest through significant media coverage and public debate on decisions that impact the public interest of Philadelphia and the region;
- Increase the transparency and accountability of public institutions and officials.
We intend to provide updates on the planning process in a similar format to those of the initial planning process. Thanks as always for your interest in the Center and your support of our work.
Professor and Interim Dean
School of Media and Communication