Mission Statement


  The nonprofit Banyan Project is devoted to strengthening democracy by pioneering a sustainable and replicable new business model for community Web journalism. Banyan’s mission is to help seed independent news co-ops in underserved communities across the nation and to provide them with mentorship and educational and administrative support so they can thrive and fulfill their mission of civic engagement.


  News co-ops that affiliate with Banyan will deliver the reliable news and information their communities need, activating civic engagement. The 10-year goal is for the number of news co-ops coast to coast to at least match the number of food co-ops.

  Value Proposition

  Readers will find Banyan-model journalism relevant to their lives, respectful of them as people, and worthy of their trust.


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The Banyan Project is a nonprofit organization founded from the thinking of 30 senior journalists, academics, Web developers, sociologists and researchers, business and financial strategists, and advocates for strengthening democracy brought together by Tom Stites. Members of this Board of Advisors are listed below; click on names to see bios.

Stites shaped Banyan's model as a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He is now helping a committee of community leaders who are organizing Haverhill Matters, the nation's first community Web news co-op in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Read more about Banyan Project.