Excellent post on entrepreneurial journalism

Jan Schaffer of J-Lab has written an excellent post on entrepreneurial journalism, News Entrepreneuring. I encourage the class to read this post. You could choose one or more of these points as topics for blog posts of your own.

About Steve Buttry

I am Director of Student Media at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication.
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2 Responses to Excellent post on entrepreneurial journalism

  1. Yauthary Keo says:

    The Use of Social Media: Pandora’s Box of News Entrepreneurs

    As Jan Schaffer observed the entrepreneurs of the new media can play an important role in the news marketplace. Traditional “network journalism” focuses on accurate reporting and gathering opinions from powerful and interesting people.

    News entrepreneurs can provide the same information and more. At the root of a successful news entrepreneur site is both about continuous strong narrative and a design that encourages conversation. It offer forums that connect people with similar interest. If designed with a clear audience in mind the site will attract engaged readers and contributors. A successful site will be designed as an idea incubator where viewers can express opinions and solicit ideas for problem solving.

    The ten tasks that Ms. Schaffer offers on a successful site seem sound. Both Ms. Schaffer and Howard Owens make the point of not duplicating existing news outlets and other new media sites. They underplay a need to focus on consistency of narrative. For example a site about cup cakes should focus on generating fresh ideas that would be fun for viewers.

    Ms. Schaffer also does not address the changing nature of the traditional media. They have also evolved engaging in a dynamic process to provide new content. The traditional media is increasingly offering competitive sites where viewers can engage in commentary as news is being reported. For example the BBC takes questions submitted to their web site for use in live programming.

  2. csamos2 says:

    As I put the finishing touches on my business plan, I had the occasion to re-read Steve’s post about this article regarding the opportunities available for and obligations of the entrepreneurial journalist. This article was well-written and as a fledgling entrepreneurial journalist, it really hit home. But now, as I wrap-up my business plan, the article has new, more significant meaning. In fact, its fostered a new sense of pride in my entrepreneurial journalism efforts.

    To the uninitiated, the belief is that the entrepreneurial journalism path, particularly in the digital age, is very straighforward and uncomplicated. Some might even say easy. Launch a site, toss some content on it and throw a few Tweets out every so often. The harsh reality, but one which is in some ways encouraging for entrepreneurial journalists, is that launching and maintaining successful new venture is far from simple or uncomplicated – and requires a strong deree of knowledge, planning and foresight.

    Ms. Shaffer does an excellent job of delving into details of launching an entrepreneurial journalism venture that belie the common belief that new media means new (and easy) money. In fact, the sheer number of start-up blogs and websites requires the entrepreneurial journalist to be even more thorough in their planning and operation that than the traditional journalist might need to be. In the “good old days,” a journalist would work for a news outlet that, for all intents and purposes, “owned.” their respective market. The journalist would produce their content and, assuming it was intelligent and properly edited, it would be read. There were no concerns over utilization of proper keywords, analysis of site traffic or God-forbid, effective use of social media to make sure that people you wanted to read your writing, would actually be able to find it, and read it.

    Its a brave new world and I’d contend that the (serious) entrepreneurial journalist needs a deeper, broader skill-set than the traditional journalist who could afford to focus only on writing. The new entrepreneurial journalist is one part journalist, one-part web developer, one part internet marketer and at least two parts general businessman/woman – and Ms. Shaffer’s article backs that up.

    So we’re not just hacks in a dark room, crafting pithy headlines and manipulating content to drive maximum traffic to our sites…at least not all the time.

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