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Archive for October, 2010

Entrepreneurial journalists make a mistake if they think advertising is their only potential revenue stream.

Our entrepreneurial journalism class at Georgetown University will focus tonight on exploring possible ways to make money beyond display advertising. I doubt that many organizations would want to pursue all these possibilities. Particularly if you’re a small organization or an individual, you will need to pick your shots carefully and decide which have the most potential and which are worth the time and money it would cost to try them. Some of these opportunities are tailored for the sole proprietor. Others work better for a larger organization or at least for an entrepreneur or team with specialized technical skills.

Here are some revenue streams we will discuss in class: (more…)

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We knew we were risking schedule conflicts when Craig Silverman agreed to present a workshop on accuracy and verification for the TBD Community Network while he was in Washington for the Online News Association. Nearly everyone had something else to do (many of them at ONA). (more…)

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Craig Silverman of Regret the Error is leading a workshop for TBD Community Network members (and staff and anyone else in the Washington area who’s interested) this evening at American University’s School of Communication. As supplemental reading for those attending the workshop, I’m posting this handout updated I developed for my Accuracy First workshop when I was presenting ethics seminars for the American Press Institute (updated somewhat). The original version of this handout was initially posted on the No Train, No Gain website.

While this handout is geared to journalists, we encourage all members of the network to follow these practices and those Craig teaches, regardless of whether they consider themselves journalists. Anyone providing information to the public should seek to ensure accuracy to maintain credibility.

In pursuit of excellence, journalists seek to develop lots of sophisticated skills, such as investigative reporting, narrative writing, social media and video. Accuracy isn’t as glamorous as those skills but without accuracy, they become worthless. Accuracy is the foundation upon which journalists must build all other skills. Ensuring accuracy involves several steps: (more…)

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If you think government should subsidize journalism, check out the outcry over NPR’s firing of Juan Williams.

I’m not going to weigh in on whether Williams’ remarks should have been a firing offense. You can argue that in a circle with valid points on either side and I don’t care to. My point is simply that the hiring and firing of journalists and the standards of a news organization should not be a subject for Congress to waste a single minute on. Our founders wisely set journalism outside the government. Yet House Minority Leader (and perhaps the next House Speaker) John Boehner and other Republicans are calling for legislation to cut off NPR’s federal funding. (more…)

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A number jumped out at me in the Pew report Americans and their Gadgets: 58 percent of Americans 65 and older own cell phones.

That made sense to me. My mother is 83 years old and has Alzheimer’s disease and a cell phone is her only phone. It’s not a smart phone and I know better than to text her or leave her a voice mail, but we talk on it frequently (well, not as frequently as we should, but that’s my fault).

I wondered whether newspaper readership among older Americans was higher than 58 percent. (more…)

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If you’re an entrepreneurial journalist, your success starts with your content plan.

Today’s class session in entrepreneurial journalism at Georgetown University will cover content, one of three key factors we are examining in the course (along with distribution and monetization) determining the success of an entrepreneurial journalism venture. (Those aren’t the only factors, of course. Each of those factors raises technology issues and you need to provide a successful user experience.)

A content plan should consider at least three aspects:

  1. Focus
  2. Format
  3. Acquisition (more…)

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