Shop Notes

Entrepreneurial spirit leads the way

Posted: Sept. 20, 2010 | Tags: Charles Lewis, Investigative News Network, journalism-ecosystem, L3C, Reynolds Journalism Institute

As the journalistic landscape continues to shift, journalists themselve are taking charge, with new businesses and models.

And journalism schools continue to experiment with their offerings and curriculum in response. Earlier today, City University of New York announced it will establish the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism with two $3 million grants from the Tow and Knight foundations. 

Jeff Jarvis, CUNY associate professor and director of the new center, wrote in his blog that the grants will help establish the country's first master's degree in entrepreneurial journalism, continue research in new business models for news and help to create new enterprises in news.

At the Workshop, where we established the Investigative Laboratory or "iLab" to conduct serious research about investigative journalism, we've written about other new business models emerging in the field and the alternative sources of revenue being explored to supplement the failing model of advertising-dependent revenue. 

This year iLab helped incubate a new, nonprofit, investigative reporting publication, which has received its 501 (c)(3) status and $250,000 in first-year reporting revenue from a foundation. "Fair Warning - News of Safety, Health and Corporate Conduct," founded by and led by former Los Angeles Times reporter Myron Levin, combines original investigations with breaking news and information on hazardous products, injury prevention and significant developments in regulation, research and civil litigation. 

Last year, Executive Editor Charles Lewis formally proposed and helped organize the Investigative News Network, which was incorporated in the District of Columbia under his guidance. INN is a group of nonprofit journalism organizations that conduct investigative reporting in the public interest. About 50 nonprofit news organizations from around the country that have joined the network, including NPR and American Public Radio, in addition to a number of new startups. 

Judging by the number of new journalism startups that have cropped up around the country in the past year, it seems the future of news may just be entrepreneurial.

Later this week, the Reynolds Journalism Institute will host the Block by Block: Community News Summit 2010 in Chicago. The one-day event, with Reynolds Fellow Michelle McLellan and New York University Professor Jay Rosen, will look at the emergence of local online news sites. In other words, startups. 

And, last week, Georgetown University led "Anatomy of a News Startup: Is Hyperlocal the Future of News?" Georgetown journalism faculty member Carlos Roig moderated a discussion with TBD.com's General Manager Jim Brady and NPR Project Argo editorial product manager Matt Thompson. According to a round-up of the event by Free Press' Josh Stearns, "the panel focused on the concrete nuts and bolts of developing, launching, and maintaining a new web-first newsroom."

We will continue to track the new journalism ecosystem, and you can do the same via Twitter: @IRWorkshop or our Facebook page.

 





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