Public News Service

Boulder, Colorado

United States

About Public News Service

Called “the most widely used independent news service you’ve never heard of” (Alternet), Public News Service produces and distributes quality news to fill the gap created by the shuttering of local news operations.

Currently, their independent network of 37 state-based news services reaches an average of 40-50 million people per week through about 8,000 media outlets across the country. By making multi-platform news available without restriction to all other media outlets and practicing “Deep Balance,” their content reaches significant audiences.

While primarily member-supported, they have a native advertising company called SoundBite Service which is a revenue stream to support PNS news. Founders also launched nonprofit Media in the Public Interest to address emergent needs at the intersection of journalism, advocacy and civic engagement.

We launched Public News Service in 1996, when the crisis in local news gathering and funding caused by deregulation and consolidation was already obvious. The online disruption was mostly hidden from view at the time but one thing was crystal clear: the solutions we wanted to create didn't fit existing business models. As journalists, we had a lot to learn to run a company. We built a hybrid, and our goals and aspirations have long been aligned with B Corps principles. Now we can be a Swan instead of an Ugly Duckling. Thank you, B Corps community!

The Change We Seek®

PNS’ mission is an educated public making informed decisions in support of a vibrant democracy and a sustainable, compassionate and just world.

According to Harvard sociologist James C. Scott, what people have historically needed to take action in times of daunting challenge are three things: knowledge that they are not alone; belief that a specific solution is do-able; and faith that change is possible. Every story PNS produces has the opportunity to address all three to a massive population.

How do we address the deepening crisis in local and “real news”; AI armies of bots assault our democracy online while, according to a recent media study, 25% of local TV stations - where most people actually get their local news - do not even produce their own content any more.

As journalists, the PNS team is committed to helping "bend the arc towards justice" in their lifetimes. By necessity and default, they've become entrepreneurs, pioneering a member-funded model in the commercial space and building revenue streams that also include grants, gifts, licensing our technological and editorial assets, crowdfunding, collaborations and anything else we can imagine and implement.

What makes us a better company?

B Impact Report

Certified since: 

July 2017

Company Score

Median Score*



The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.



The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.



The Customers section of the Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers. The section focuses on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit, and if those products/services are targeted towards serving underserved populations. Questions in this section will measure whether a company's product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (e.g. improves health, preserves environment or creates economic opportunity to individuals or communities, promotes the arts/sciences, or increases the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises).



The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.



The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.

Overall B Score

80 out of 200 is eligible for certification

*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment

*Median scores will not add up to overall

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