WEBINAR: The Membership Puzzle Project with Ariel Zirulnick and Jeanette Ageson

Event Date: 9th December 2020

Time: 12PM MDT

Member and student price: $30
Non-member price: $40

All around the world, and in the face of unprecedented financial challenges, independent newsrooms are remaking themselves — and their financial models — by turning to their audiences for support. By engaging with the audience and allowing them and their data to inform the direction of their editorial, membership models are giving local media the chance to serve their communities for the future.

Unlike membership programs that rely heavily on commercial exchanges between the audience and the publisher like product samples and tickets, the Membership Puzzle Project participants found a way to bridge audience and content to support their mission and open up a new revenue stream.

Whether your publishing model is small non-profit or medium consumer niche, get inspiration and practical advice to start asking your audience to invest in content that will serve their community.


Ariel Zirulnick is the fund director at the Membership Puzzle Project, a public research project studying, catalyzing, and supporting experimentation with membership models in news. She’s also the managing editor of the Membership Guide, a tactical, practical guide to implementing a membership strategy.

Prior to MPP, she was the director of The New Tropic, a local media brand published by WhereBy.Us that helped Miami’s curious locals connect with, understand, and explore our city. They were one of the first local media companies to pursue a newsletter-first engagement and growth strategy. Prior to that she was a foreign correspondent in Nairobi and the Middle East editor at the Christian Science Monitor. She’s passionate about doing journalism with communities rather than about them, and building systems that make that viable. Membership is one such system.

Jeanette Ageson is the publisher of The Tyee, an independent online news magazine based in Vancouver. With a background in non-profit communications and fundraising, Jeanette leads all revenue generation activities at The Tyee, including investor relations, advertising, sponsorships, and reader funding. The Tyee has consistently been recognized as an innovator in Canadian news media for its experimentation with new business models for journalism, and has been featured in the New Yorker, The Walrus Magazine, CBC, and as a case study in the Membership Puzzle Project for its leadership in digital media. She is a graduate of the Online News Association 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator.

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