Entrepreneurial journalism

Yesterday, Jeff Jarvis announced that he's been awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant to fund entrepreneurial journalism.  Jarvis is a journalism professor at CUNY, and has many years of experience in media and media criticism, having worked at Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, the Chicago Tribune, and a whole host of other venues.  This semester, Jarvis is teaching a course on entrepreneurial journalism; his students design entrepreneurial projects meant to shake up the world of journalism.  The $100,000 grant will go to seed some of the top ideas from the class.

Jarvis should be commended for his project on entrepreneurial journalism, and I think this grant soundly affirms the importance of the project.  Entrepreneurial journalism attempts to find new ways to make journalism sustainable and relevant in our cultural and economic climate.  This idea is incredibly important to the progressive movement.  After all, the present crisis in media is really the combination of two troubling trends: one, the increasing militancy of conservatives in bullying and taking over purportedly objective media; and two, the decreasing number of resources devoted to high-quality journalism, partially the result of the media conglomeration of the 1990's.  These are monumental problems for progressives, as they immeasurably contribute to the strength of the conservative movement.

Indeed, journalistic entrepreneurialism has a very comfortable home in the progressive movement.  Every progressive blog, to some degree or another, is an exercise in journalistic entrepreneurship.  Innovative projects like ePluribus Media, Assignment Zero, and Real TV were started by progressives or have goals explicitly focused on spreading progressive ideas through journalism.  As interesting as some of these projects are, I suspect that Jarvis's students will come up with still more ground-breaking sustainability mechanisms for full-time journalism, and I'll be very interested to see the results.

For tonight, I'd love to hear about other projects I haven't listed here.  What have progressives been doing to create new, sustainable, entrepreneurial ways of doing journalism?  Some of the most obvious sustainability mechanisms - volunteer power and donations (ePluribus), crowdsourcing (Assignment Zero) and subscription-based journalism (Real TV) - have already been tried, with varying degrees of success.  What other ideas can we drum up?

Tags: entrepreneurial journalism, journalism, liberal entrepreneurship, Media (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

um, Jeff Jarvis?

Are you serious?

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-09-21 03:35PM | 0 recs
Let me explain

If you expect any journalism, much less, enterprise journalism, from Jarvis, then you must not have read him much lately.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-09-21 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Let me explain

Well, I can't say I am (or would want to be) an expert on Jeff Jarvis, but I have been following his blog for maybe 6 months or a year or so.  While I do think he has a center-right establishmentarian view of the world, I think he's usually pretty sharp when it comes to understanding the media and journalism industries, and he has a reasonably good eye for important trends.

More to the point, the concept of entrepreneurial journalism is fascinating and, I think, quite relevant to strengthening the progressive movement.  I don't think there is anyone else studying this idea and winning grants to seed new start-up projects; maybe Jay Rosen, but he seems to have a different focus.  If you know of someone, I'd love to hear it.

by Shai Sachs 2007-09-22 04:47AM | 0 recs
I love the idea

Jarvis is not worthy of support imo.

It is bizarre that he got a grant.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-09-22 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: I love the idea

I don't think it's really bizarre.  He's got great industry connections, and I'm sure that counts for a lot in the grantmaking world.  Who knows what the folks at the McCormick Foundation have in mind, and I didn't take a look at their grantmaking criteria.  But on the other hand, I really don't think there are many other experiments of this kind to fund.  I'm still interested to see what comes out of the class.

by Shai Sachs 2007-09-22 09:41AM | 0 recs

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