Kevin Davis is CEO and Executive Director of the Investigative News Network (INN), a growing consortium of more than 100 nonprofit newsrooms producing nonpartisan investigative and public interest journalism. Davis oversees INN’s efforts to promote the sustainability of its member organizations, and increase the impact of their reporting through collaboration. He is a frequent speaker on Entrepreneurial Journalism and a regular contributor to the CrowdCheck column at NetNewsCheck.com
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Born and raised in London, England. Emigrated to Los Angeles at the age of 13 and have been there ever since.
Who do you work for?
I am the CEO and Executive Director of the Investigative News Network
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
The majority of my career has been focused on digital transformation of media organisations. Starting way back in 1994, I spent several years strategising, building and generating revenue via media websites. After going client-side for my first publishing job in 2004, I focused on growing digital revenues exponentially while maintaining more traditional print revenues mainly in the entertainment news sector. After helping launch a digital media start-up also targeting the entertainment industry, I decided to move my focus and leverage my experience in helping independent, non-profit news organizations acting in the public interest grow and achieve sustainability through the auspices of the then newly formed Investigative News Network. Four years later, INN is 100 members strong and provides a diverse set of functions to support this growing and increasingly important sector.
What are your career highlights?
- Interviewing Bill Gates for a pay-to-play TV show focused on how Windows 95 was going to change the world.
- Meeting Theodore “Dr. Seuss’s” Geisel’s widow and convincing her to sign-off on Cat in the Hat designs for a new theme park in Orlando, Florida
- Testifying in front of the Federal Communications Commission about the need for changes in IRS policy towards non-profit newsrooms in order to make it easier for them to serve the public interest
- Growing INN to more than 100 members strong
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Having spent much of my career working to help my companies maximise shareholder value, I am now driven to help fill the void left behind by a shrinking market that is running-away from its unique civic responsibility to inform the public.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Documentarians, for they understand how to tell often difficult stories in ways that evoke passion and generate calls to action as they inform.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
In order for news organizations to continue to play the necessary function of informing the public and keeping a check on abuse, we are all – editorial and publisher alike – going to need to become far more business savvy and community-centric. My focus will be on helping educate attendees on the different revenue opportunities currently being put to good use across the United States and globally that are consistent and authentic with our unique function and mission.
Where can we find you?
LinkedIn: Kevin Davis