Changes in technology, the economy and society have modified many established practices in the field of journalism. Faced with an array of systemic forces, focusing on any one area of concern is insufficient to address the current situation regarding preservation of born-digital news. Theory of Change modeling offers one means of effectively responding to the kinds of complex challenges involved in preserving born-digital journalism.

The BUILD Initiative example inspired us to apply the Theory of Change to the problems associated with preserving born-digital news content (BDNC). The Build Initiative supports efforts to build comprehensive and coordinated early childhood systems, while JDNA uses the same systems-based framework to influence national strategy in safeguarding vulnerable BDNC.

JDNA’s Theory of Change framework can be a powerful tool in defining the essential building blocks required to bring about a given long-term goal. It operates simultaneously on five areas of systemic change designed to coordinate, integrate and scale up action plans and to bring real changes to social systems along with transforming their policies and common practices.

To build the framework for change, JDNA aims to address:

  • ensuring the authenticity of preserved BDNC
  • legal issues surrounding BDNC
  • preservation and access of past and future formats
  • digital estate planning
  • bridging the gap between the goals of BDNC owners/creators and the needs of memory institutions
  • possible partnerships between businesses and public institutions that can work for both private enterprise and the public good 
  • and more