Resources for journopreneurs

20 May

The Knight Digital Media Center’s entrepeneurial bootcamp at USC has been terrific. (Search #uscnewsbiz on Twitter to get a feel for how terrific.)

Here’s a bucket o’ links and resources I referred to in the discussion at the Knight Digital Media Center’s Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. (They may be useful, of course, to other journopreneurs.)

  • First and foremost: As you think about revenue, don’t fixate on one source – no successful media outlet ever has. Look for several – specific ideas in this link .
  • I freely admit that I’m a history geek (How many Virginians does it take to change a light bulb? Four – one to unscrew, three to give you the history of the old one all the way back to the landing of the first English colonists at Jamestown.) If you want to understand the context of today’s media revolution, here are some terrific (I’d say essential) readings.
  • The number of independent news and information sites is exploding. To keep up – and to spot trends in sustainability – three sites are particularly helpful:

J-Lab at American University

The New Business Models for News project run by Jeff Jarvis at CUNY

The Collaboratory run by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at University of Missouri

  • Several specific essays and blog posts have become intellectual watersheds of the independent-site phenomenon. I’d encourage you to read Jay Rosen’s “the people formerly known as the audience” piece – it reads like a manifesto. Similarly, Jeff Jarvis’  notion of “do what you do best, link to the rest” is critical. If you ever need to remind anyone of what’s at stake, Clay Shirky’s talk at Harvard in late 2009 is calmly frightening. Scared? Good. Now, for a glimmer of hope, read James Fallows’ piece on how Google just might not be the enemy Rupert et al think it to be.
  • Enough of the intellectual stuff. Let’s get to work. And because we’re broke entrepreneurs, we’ve got to do it cheaply. Here’s some free and low-cost stuff.
  • Finally, something to keep an eye on. It’s no exaggeration to say that Journal Register Company historically ran some of the worst newspapers in America – small-town dailies and weeklies with antiquated equipment, dispirited staffs, crushing debt and Dickensian management policies. New CEO John Paton is dragging it out of bankruptcy with a refreshing “question everything” style. JRC’s Ben Franklin Project set a goal of publishing an existing daily and weekly using nothing but free and open-source tools – and succeeded. It’s brilliant experimentation, worth stealing.

Also: Here’s the link Susan Mernit mentioned to Brad Feld’s VC site.

One Response to “Resources for journopreneurs”

  1. Pau September 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Great and useful compilation, thanks!!

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