Digital audiences no longer have to go to news publishers to find their news. They can get it (and, better yet, comment on it) from their friends on Facebook. Audiences are empowered to say no to advertisers just as emphatically — by blocking out their messages with inexpensive and even free software.

Concerned especially about what it sees as a threat to the very existence of news publishing and its historical role in helping to make democracy work, the Reynolds Journalism Institute made a go-for-it move in the spring of 2015. It convened six “action call” meetings across the country from May to this month that brought together equally concerned representatives from publishing and the ad industry, whose messaging helps finance the cost of news.

Today and tomorrow, Street Fight is presenting the story of how this daring initiative went from talk to action, what proved crucial at the meetings, and what’s next. Here is part one.

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