Journalism Entrepeneurs

On September 20, the New York Graduate School of Journalism announced the founding and funding of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Wait a minute, Entrepreneurial Journalism?

Recently, journalists agree that it is essential in today’s world to understand the economics of news. Some journalists and journalism professors, such as Jeff Jarvis, believe it was irresponsible of journalism institutions not to teach this in the past. Entrepreneurial journalism stresses the importance of bringing entrepreneurship into the industry. Entrepreneurial journalism classes and programs are being implemented at colleges and universities across the country. Some programs concentrate more on new entrepreneurial ventures, others more on bringing innovation into existing companies. While some critics say journalists aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship is a way to teach both innovation and business to journalism students, making them more well-rounded.

The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism claims to:

“- Establish the country’s first MA degree in entrepreneurial journalism for our students and also offer certificates in the field for mid-career professional journalists.

– Continue our research in new business models for news, following on our work last summer in the new ecosystem of local news.

– Help create new enterprises in news.”

According to Jeff Jarvis, this all comes from an optimism about the future of journalism. Jarvis explains:

“That’s why I’ve been teaching entrepreneurial journalism — with seven students’ businesses in development now with a total of $100,000 in seed funding — and why we are expanding that into a degree and certificate program to prepare journalists to start and run businesses and make journalism sustainable. That’s why we will continue to bring concrete specifics to the discussion about new business models for news. And that’s why we will help create those businesses in and out of the school. We will also help lead the movement to teach journalists to be entrepreneurs at other schools.”

As a journalism student at Quinnipiac, I would love to take a class like this. Recently, one of my previous professors informed me that he is trying to design new journalism elective, based on entrepreneurial journalism. The class will be taught by a journalism professor and a business professor. Students from the business school and communications school will work cooperatively to create a media outlet. I’m not sure of the specifics, but I think a class like this at Quinnipiac would be a great asset to our journalism curriculum.

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