Successful Journalism Startups:Global LessonsWelcome to the new ecosystem#SXsubmojour@pekkapekkala                        ...
Post-presentation note:Did you record my session at SXSWi?    Please send it (or a link) to    pekka.pekkala@gmail.com    ...
•  Find financially sustainable journalism startups around the world•  Create a database at submojour.net•  What makes the...
39/63 submojour.net cases ready so farUS (7/10)                   GER (2/3)                 JAPAN 10/10•  Artsjournal.com ...
Top 8 findings so far
1. This is not a new thing  In US, Japan, Germany and Finland the    average age of sites was 6+ years.
Oldest sites
2. Advertising rules75% said banner advertising makes  more than 75% of their profit.
West Seattle Blog
Gone consultingDouglas McLennan, Artsjournal.com (video)
Other: events, syndication
3. Be frugal          Learn basic tech skillsTurn digital pennies into newsroom dollars
•  “I used to be a fulltime reporter, and when you’re a reporter you   have the luxury to report and write all day long, y...
4. Be entrepreneurial    Nobody else will do it for you. Think about money from day one, not “year three it will magically...
David Boraks, Davidsonnews.net (video)
50 / 50Time spent creating content / business      Between 90/10 to 30/70
5. People don’t pay for content    But they are happy to support a cause. (US)
6. Find your nicheIt might be based on geography, taste,       interest or point of view  Ken Fisher, Arstechnica.com
7. Pay your contributors     “Free” citizen journalism is    the exception, not the norm.
8. It’s about community        Not about you.
Bonus: The Future Stranger things has happened.
Publishing revolution!    Lessons from globalization
Future model of networked journalism compared terrorist networks (my idea) Terrorists or                                Go...
Kiitos!         Thank you!@pekkapekkala   pekka.pekkala@gmail.comSubmojour.net   #SXsubmojour                             ...
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons
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SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons

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Research project "Sustainable Business Models for Journalism" has interviewed these brave journos that have actually made the move to entrepreneurship _and_ are making living out of it. 30 very different cases from around the world - from international success stories (ArsTechnica) to small hyperlocal sites serving just 10.000 strong communities (DavidsonNews). What are the key elements for sustainability and how they are building a whole new ecosystem of news? The future of journalism is not built on grants, 401k's or VC funding. It's built on single individuals that are not afraid of long hours and wearing multiple hats.

See also Storify session briefs:

http://storify.com/sam_piroton/sxsw-successfull-journalism-startups-global-lesson

http://storify.com/EmilieMutert/sustainable-business-models-for-journalism

http://storify.com/edwonkkimmy/successful-journalism-startups

And blogs
http://stephenrobertmorse.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/blogging-sxsw-successful-journalism-startups-global-lessons/

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  • My name & history - HASHTAG!More and more journalists are either facing layoffs or zero-job market around the world.Some of them take their passion online and start their own publications. What are the key elements for sustainability and how they are building a whole new ecosystem of news?The future of journalism is not built on grants, 401k's or VC funding.It's built on single individuals that are not afraid of long hours and wearing multiple hats.
  • - My 2nd grad from MA Journalism 2010, USC Annenberg. (Stupid)- Different from 1998 UTA.fi: again, brilliant people but no jobs.- I had my job at HS.fi but WHAT’S going on here?
  • Noticed something else missing as well:- During my year in LA I had noticed the lack of neighborhood-level news.- Echo Park, 45000 inhabitants. According to LA Times, Local TV: nothing happening?
  • 2009 fall I woke up to my first LAPD chopper rattling my windows 2am, ANYONE FROM LA?- Went out to the balcony – wow – that’s a no-no (Helsinki)Next morning: no news in trad mediaFound stuff from Twitter but no reason for this.
  • I started looking for news and found these blogs and a neighborhood forum
  • Put feeds into same RSS and had a local newspaper. (I’M OLD?)This was also my thesis subject.LexisNexis April 2010 LA Times mentioned Echo Park 7 newspaper 28 onlineThe blogs 112 stories about EP, not just mentionsAnd they were stories about everything, not just crime or accidents
  • - Great blogs, especially Eastsider LA.- But NONE of them made ANY money (but Origami Vinyl).If this is popping up everywhere in US, someone has already found a way to make this a business?Approached USC Annenberg and HelsinginSanomat Foundation via University of Tampere: they all liked the idea.
  • - Remember, graduates don’t often have any savings, pension plans or network of wealthy people they can monetizeWhat they have is a skill to survive with little moneyExcluding non-profit and corporate backed, Patch-type things
  • Truly a global project. Some difficulties, e.g. getting numbers from JAP and startup sceneThe sites were mostly hyperlocal or niche content, varying from politics to tech to shopping to PR to Trade publication.Biggest trouble was finding the sites: making profit, small, on their own. GawkerCompletely new to me: I’m not a researcher, I’m a journalist.
  • This is the first time I present these, please argue :D
  • Something I just realized last week.Journalism crisis? This new ecosystem of sites has been there all this time!Age might be something that comes with sustainability?
  • Perlentaucher 10 GER CultureJatkoaika.com 11 HockeyGigazine 11 BBS CommnutiyArsTechina 14 Tech by tech industry geeks
  • Sold as CPM (cost per million impressions).Some use ad networks, most sell their own ads. FINLAND has a company for that.Local sites have a different approach: they sell weekly or monthly display advertising.You don’t have to reinvent the business model. You just have to sell the old better.
  • Different approach to advertising- DIY ad sales on local. Site are part of the local community, ad networks are not - Random Google Ads would look silly on a local site. Tracy Record- To sell ads, the site has to feel local. And the editor has to be part of the local community.Ars Technica praised networks for taking the pain of selling off the site (BargainBabe).
  • Artsjournal Aggregator Doug McLennan explains, how his consulting happened, 50% revenueMerchandise, WSB: “People were telling us how great it would be to buy a West Seattle T-shirt. So we made them and sold three. Merchandise is a big waste of time”Ken Fisher from Ars Technica doesn’t think merchandise is a real revenue stream but a great way to get people excited about your brand.
  • Technically Philly does some events.Hellapoliisi syndicates recipes and sells books, most revenue.Aggregation Ampparit, 675K revenue, 40% profit, 0 journalists
  • New publishers do everything by themselves (Q: Lessons learned)- Minimal staff, work from home and they buy only little work or consulting.Basic blog skills, Wordpress no 1. Competitive edge: 90% of $$$ goes to the newsroom, trad media 30%
  • Julia Scott, BargainBabe.com becoming an entrepreneur
  • 2. Start thinking about the money from the startYou can’t first make your site ready and then start selling advertising – because your site is never ready. Little money shapes the company and its processes.8. You have to be entrepreneurial The business part of publishing has been the most difficult thing to learn for journalists. David Boraks ,Davidson.net: took full 18 months:“You know in an ideal world I would love to get back to the point where I am not doing any of the business stuff because I am a journalist in heart. But at the same time it’s been really a challenge and it’s been fun for me to try and figure how to grow the business. I did try last year to hire somebody to be a business manager for the whole business and it just didn’t work out the way I had hoped. I realized that when you are starting a small business and you have a vision you really need to do a lot of that leg work yourself, you can't turn it over to somebody else and expect it to happen the way you want it to.”
  • David Boraks, DavidsonNews.net
  • Only the ones who have outsourced the ad sales have success doing more content.Some of the sites don’t’ do content, just aggregate, different model then.Publishers than editors
  • Ken Fisher, Ars Technica: “We’ve been selling a digital subscription to Ars Technical since 2001. It was actually a bit cheesy. We put the plea to the community and said ‘we are launching a subscription program, it’s $50 a year. You get the warm fussy feeling of supporting us.’ Two parts of the forum subscriber access only.” Douglas McLennan from Artsjournal.com explains: “Now the Premium version, what do you get extra? Well not a lot. The free version you get the headline with the link, the Premium version you get the headline and the link plus the description, you know, the blur; so it’s more of digest, rather. But in reality you could just come to the website and get that because this goes out of there. So essentially, what people are doing is they’re looking for a way to support you. It’s the public radio mentality.”
  • Geographical area, topic, point of view.Don’t copy existing models.“The the sad reality is if you go in like that, it becomes a race to the bottom. In the sense that if you kind of compete with everybody else on their own terms than the only way you’re really going to compete with them is – is to kind of do what they do but maybe do a crappier version on some level. Don’t just try to be 30 seconds faster regurgitating the same stupid bloggy content that’s going to be on five other text sites in 10 minutes anyway.”
  • 80-90% of the sites actually pay their contributors at least something.Same percentage says “more writers, quality people” when asking about no 1 investment.Main reason is “unreliable” Knight Foundation report What works: Fewer than 1/10 sticks around and do irregular stuff.
  • Vanity projects – no. “I build my own thing and do whatever I want”This is the answer you get in “What is the most important thing on your road to sustainability”Especially true with local / hyperlocal sites. Howards Owens, The Batavian NY “You need to go develop an editorial mission and advertising philosophy that backs that editorial mission. The people that are going to support your site are going to do so because – at least initially – they support what you are doing editorially.”
  • Where is this all going?Hard to figure out.All these sites seem to be no connected, but they are.
  • Every hyperlocal / new biz model presentation has to mention BARISTANET.Why? This article in NY Times The Local.Hyperlocal or startup news is not hype.
  • Leaderless organizations driven with commone ideology and fueled with technolgoy..
  • Manuel Castells seminar, my final paper & suggestion how to apply globalization model to journalism.Lessons from globalization: Networks versus hierarchiesThe reason hierarchies have trouble fighting networks is because networks are leaderless and driven by ideology.
  • SXSW Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons

    1. Successful Journalism Startups:Global LessonsWelcome to the new ecosystem#SXsubmojour@pekkapekkala Pekka Pekkala 3/11/2012 University of Tampere, Finland USC Annenberg, CA, USA   annenberg.usc.edu  
    2. Post-presentation note:Did you record my session at SXSWi? Please send it (or a link) to pekka.pekkala@gmail.com Thanks!
    3. •  Find financially sustainable journalism startups around the world•  Create a database at submojour.net•  What makes them successful -> help graduates / unemployed
    4. 39/63 submojour.net cases ready so farUS (7/10) GER (2/3) JAPAN 10/10•  Artsjournal.com •  netzpolitik.org •  Videonews.com•  BargainBabe.com •  perlentaucher.de •  Sankei Digital•  WestSeattleBlog.com •  OurPlanetTV•  DavidsonNews.net UK 6/10 •  Niwango•  TheBatavian.com •  Alderley Edge •  Natalie•  ArsTechnica.com •  Women’s Views on News •  Livedoor•  TechnicallyPhilly.com •  Talk to the Press •  JB Press •  Not on the Wires •  GigazineFI 9/10 •  Landscape Juice •  CB News•  Afterdawn.com •  Audioboo •  47 News•  Stara.fi•  Rantapallo.fi FRANCE 2/10 SLOVENIA 1/1•  Uusisuomi.fi •  Citizenside •  Piano Media•  Ampparit.com •  This French Life•  Jatkoaika.com SPAIN 1/1•  Arctic Startup •  ITALY 0/8 •  Portal Parados•  Tilannehuone.fi
    5. Top 8 findings so far
    6. 1. This is not a new thing In US, Japan, Germany and Finland the average age of sites was 6+ years.
    7. Oldest sites
    8. 2. Advertising rules75% said banner advertising makes more than 75% of their profit.
    9. West Seattle Blog
    10. Gone consultingDouglas McLennan, Artsjournal.com (video)
    11. Other: events, syndication
    12. 3. Be frugal Learn basic tech skillsTurn digital pennies into newsroom dollars
    13. •  “I used to be a fulltime reporter, and when you’re a reporter you have the luxury to report and write all day long, you know. There are very few meetings and if you’re going out to meet a subject you really are in this ‘cush spot’ which I realized after I started Bargain Babe because I had to do all of the business stuff, deal with advertisers, you know, get my site listed, work on SEO, network with people, learn everything I needed to know about running a business, filing my taxes, you know, all this stuff that, as a reporter, you don’t have to deal with. And it shifted but basically, I spent anywhere from a third to half of my time writing and the rest of the time, on all the business stuff.”
    14. 4. Be entrepreneurial Nobody else will do it for you. Think about money from day one, not “year three it will magically appear”
    15. David Boraks, Davidsonnews.net (video)
    16. 50 / 50Time spent creating content / business Between 90/10 to 30/70
    17. 5. People don’t pay for content But they are happy to support a cause. (US)
    18. 6. Find your nicheIt might be based on geography, taste, interest or point of view Ken Fisher, Arstechnica.com
    19. 7. Pay your contributors “Free” citizen journalism is the exception, not the norm.
    20. 8. It’s about community Not about you.
    21. Bonus: The Future Stranger things has happened.
    22. Publishing revolution! Lessons from globalization
    23. Future model of networked journalism compared terrorist networks (my idea) Terrorists or Governments and military or Blogs, online communities, Twitter Newspapers and traditional news organizations Leaderless Formal Sprawling Stand-alone Loose Hierarchical Disperse Doctrines Small groups Strategies Non-state, transnational, subnational State, national Dispersed nodes Central node Swarms Units, agencies Ideology Institutional interest and habits Rand Report Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy (Arquilla 2003)
    24. Kiitos! Thank you!@pekkapekkala pekka.pekkala@gmail.comSubmojour.net #SXsubmojour   annenberg.usc.edu  

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