- Becoming an Entrepreneurial Journalist: From Idea to Implementation
- Self-Directed Course
- Time Estimate:
- Three to four hours
About Self-Directed Courses
In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.
This course is funded by a grant from the Harnisch Foundation. We thank the foundation for its continued support of Poynter NewsU's mission to train journalists.
So, you have an idea for a new journalism start-up. You're thinking about making the plunge, but you're not sure whether the entrepreneurial life is for you. Or maybe you've decided to launch a venture, and you're looking guidance in the crucial weeks and months at the beginning of your project.
This course aims to give participants the knowledge and tools needed to launch content-driven news/information websites. We'll take you from idea to implementation and, when necessary, help you retool or replace ideas with better versions.
If you're considering starting a news or information-oriented website, this course will help you decide whether an entrepreneurial path is the right one for you. And if you're looking for a crash course on starting a business, it will show you the ropes, point you to the right resources and help you formulate the questions you most need answers to.
What Will I Learn:
After completing this course, you'll have newfound knowledge about creating a business and bringing your specific idea to fruition.
You'll be able to:
- Explain the difference between an idea and a product.
- List the basic elements of a business plan.
- Define basic business and marketing terms, including ROI and CPC.
- List and summarize the legal structures available when establishing a business, and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
- List popular technological platforms and cite strengths and weaknesses of each.
- List available analytics tools and identify what to track and how to analyze the numbers.
- Summarize the primary options when forming a business as a legal entity, getting legal and accounting help and finding software to help run the business.
- List and describe major ad networks (e.g., BlogHer, Federated Media)
For your specific business, you'll be able to:
- Define your market, approximate its size and identify your audience
- Write an executive summary.
- Define the current work that needs to be done and identify the people who can do it.
- Determine whether funding is needed and, if so, how much.
- Decide whether the business can be bootstrapped and, if not, identify options for securing funding.
- Estimate how many users/customers/viewers/readers will be “enough” to make the business work.
- Identify qualities that distinguish your business from your competitors.
- Perform a basic assessment of potential adjacent markets.
- List questions that need to be answered about your product, market and/or business.
Who should take this course:
- Journalists working at legacy operations interested in founding a start-up venture
- Recent journalism graduates interested in working in journalism, but not for a “traditional” journalistic business
- Anyone passionate about a community, topic or cause who has a desire to start a publication-based business with journalistic values
More for Entrepreneurs
This course is part of a series of Poynter NewsU courses on Entrepreneurial Journalism. Other courses in this series include:
Or enroll in our Entrepreneurial Journalism Certificate Program and get comprehensive training on the mechanics behind building a business.
Mark Briggs is director of digital media at King 5 TV in Seattle and the author of Entrepreneurial Journalism: How to Build What's Next for News, published by CQ Press. He also is a Ford Fellow of Entrepreneurial Journalism at The Poynter Institute and is the editor of the blog Journalism 2.0. He is the instructor for several courses at Poynter's NewsU, including Becoming an Entrepreneurial Journalist: From Idea to Implementation, Entrepreneurial Journalism: Revenue and Marketing and Innovation at Work: Helping New Ideas Succeed.