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Entrepreneurial Journalism

Slides from my lecture today to the City University International Journalism MA students... it's meant to be the introduction of thoughts, rather than to provide any certain and specific plans.

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Entrepreneurial Journalism

  1. 1. entrepreneurial journalism n robin hamman (@cybersoc) with guests!
  2. 2. Entrepreneurs choose a level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue opportunity. Entrepreneurs tend to identify a market opportunity and exploit it by organizing their resources effectively to accomplish an outcome that changes existing interactions within a given sector. Business entrepreneurs are viewed as fundamentally important in the capitalistic society. Some distinguish business entrepreneurs as either "political entrepreneurs" or "market entrepreneurs," while social entrepreneurs' principal objectives include the creation of a net social benefit. Other entrepreneurs are necessity entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship, particularly among women in developing countries seems to offer an improvement in the standard of living as well as a path out of poverty. Entrepreneurship is now growing at nearly three times the rate among women as it is among men.
  3. 3. business model as usual
  4. 4. Sell content to an audience: • some people willing to pay for (scarce) content • some people willing to pay for packaging and/or delivery device • subscriptions ensure lock-in to daily, weekly, monthly or annual payment • direct subscription with content provider (eg. magazine subscription) • indirect subscription via third party, usually a platform (satellite providers, etc) • royalties from use (cuttings services, Performing Right Society (PRS), Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), etc) Build an audience, and sell eyeballs to advertisers... price depends on: • size of audience • demographic (age, sex, location, education, income; niche vs general) • advertiser perception of importance of brand
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Daily Telegraph: -10.21% The Times: -16.29% The Guardian: -16.98% etc...
  7. 7. DMGT execs have been wooing shareholders at an investors day on Monday. We're not there, but DMGT has published all its slides online... On charging:- • "Readers will not pay to consume general news on the web." • "All news has traditionally been free – EXCEPT print." • "People pay for the convenience of print in recognition of the special cost of production and delivery of a tangible product and because they purchase it WHOLE." • "Which is why they will also pay for news on mobile devices." • "And we will also experiment with niche paid-for web content." Staying free:- • "Like it or not, the web is free with one or two players in each sector becoming big winners." • "MailOnline – uniquely among UK newspaper sites - is now big enough to make the advertising model pay." • "Staying free also allows us to expand our news brand internationally." • "And protect and promote our group's paid-for products and services." • "A pay-wall MIGHT make a little money – we will make a lot."
  8. 8. Problems with the old model, online 1. many people consider content to be free 2. audiences fragmented 3. almost unlimited competition from many producers (lack of scarcity) 4. mechanisms for small, one off, (micro)payments prohibitively complex and expensive 5. google and others aggregate and repackage content, denying the original eyeballs to sell 6. ??? discuss...
  9. 9. "In this new multi-platform media environment, people’s relationship to news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory. These new metrics stand out: 1 Portable : 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones. 2 Personalized : 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them. 3 Participatory : 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. To a great extent, people’s experience of news, especially on the internet, is becoming a shared social experience as people swap links in emails, post news stories on their social networking site feeds, highlight news stories in their Tweets, and haggle over the meaning of events in discussion threads. For instance, more than 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails."
  10. 10. "News consumption is a socially-engaging and socially-driven activity, especially online. The public is clearly part of the news process now. Participation comes more through sharing than through contributing news themselves. Getting news is often an important social act. Some 72% of American news consumers say they follow the news because they enjoy talking with others about what is happening in the world and 69% say keeping up with the news is a social or civic obligation. And 50% of American news consumers say they rely to some degree on people around them to tell them the news they need to know. Online, the social experience is widespread: 1 75% of online news consumers say they get news forwarded through email or posts on social networking sites and 52% say they share links to news with others via those means. 2 51% of social networking site (e.g. Facebook) users who are also online news consumers say that on a typical day they get news items from people they follow. Another 23% of this cohort follow news organizations or individual journalists on social networking sites. Some 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commentary about it, or dissemination of news via social media. They have done at least one of the following: commenting on a news story (25%); posting a link on a social networking site (17%); tagging content (11%), creating their own original news material or opinion piece (9%), or Tweeting about news (3%)."
  11. 11. business models for social media
  12. 12. Mostly, it's about data... • create a participatory framework • increase audience size and loyalty through participation • users generate most of content • users reveal demographic data • detailed demographic data has a higher value to advertisers • data trail from participation reveals even more about users (facebook knows that you're 20, recently described yourself as "unattached", attend City University, and just friended a whole bunch of ex-classmates who recently changed their location to Sydney - queue Qantas and dating website advertisments)
  13. 13. But still, largely dependent upon old models... • sell access to advanced features (flickr, linked in, dating websites) • sell subscriptions to content (coming soon to News International properties) • targeted advertising (facebook, premium google search results) • general advertising (banner ads) • sell opportunities to engage with audience ( • securing external funding
  14. 14. Sue Google:
  15. 15. Crowd Funding:
  16. 16. Co-Creation:
  17. 17. the entrepreneurial journalist (?)
  18. 18.
  19. 19. • yes, there are some ways to make money • think more widely about extracting value from your content and participation online • build yourself as a brand • have conversations that could lead to job opportunities • come up with interesting projects that might attract funding from, for example, the Knight Foundation • you're not just a journalist anymore - you also have to sell, market, consult, network and it would help to develop websites too...
  20. 20. Making money - obvious opportunities • google ads - small money, but easy and doesn't involve any selling • banner advertising - automated, and again easy, but very little money in it • associate programmes - advertise products and services, such as items from Amazon, using embed code - easy, and can be good money in right circumstances • target a niche, and sell ads to those who want to advertise to that niche ( • build a compelling proposition and sell it on • sell your skills - whether it's setting up blogs, live blogging events, creating and implementing a social media strategy, run audience engagement activities etc you have skills others might want
  21. 21. Build Your Brand in a Niche • targeting a niche you genuinely are interested in makes sense • might be fun anyway • demonstrate ability to create an audience as well as content • gets you noticed • less competition, particularly from “old media” (FT - example of big media doing ok in this space) • but there is a difference between "opportunity" and "free" - where's your boundary?
  22. 22. Journalist, Event Organiser?:
  23. 23. Have Conversations To Create Opportunities • point prospects to your online presence • build your professional network, and make it visible (linked in, slideshare, etc) • live blog industry events • become the centre of the audience community you target
  24. 24. Market and Sell Your Skills, Not Content • you can create content - identify who, both within in the media and elsewhere, might be interested in it •PR, Marketing, Industry, Government, etc • show others how you do it - teaching and consulting can be rewarding, and it pays
  25. 25. More... • Devise applications (see Glamour Ask a Stylist app) • Sell and manage clever content + social media propositions •Extract data from your audience and sell it (data mining) • Repackage data to build new things (and sell it - councils, news, marketing agencies, etc)
  26. 26. Alex Johnson, who lives around the corner from me has, from his garden shed, created a business out of writing about, what else, garden sheds (http:// with a bit of consulting on the side.
  27. 27. Richard Lander is a founding director and investor in Citywire ( which started in 1999. Before that he was a journalist with Reuters, The Times, the London Daily News and other publications. He spent a strange year working in current affairs television before returning to print. Scared that he would end up with his fate in Rupert Murdoch’s hands, he took an MBA at this very university in 1993 and has been eternally grateful ever since for what he learned here.