Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

8 tips for journo-entrepreneurs

Posted in Journalism, Next Generation Journalist by Adam Westbrook on July 12, 2010

The Knight Foundation (@knightfdn) have some great tips for journalists turning their hand to entrepreneurship.

They’ve been taken from a talk held by US group WebbMedia and make sound reading for journalists in Europe, Asia and elsewhere thinking of how to turn their journalism into business.

01. specialise

Don’t be a generalist. Create highly-specialized content that you’re  an expert on.

02. platform

Content producers must syndicate across platforms, but the RIGHT platforms.

03. bootstrap

Try to fund your new entrepreneurial jurno venture alone. Projects have launched for less than $10k.

04. plan

You must create a business and marketing plan, regardless of how small your new venture is.

05. mentors

Find a few people whose opinions your trust to serve as advisers as you start your new venture.

06. talk

“If you are passionate about your idea, find some people you trust and then go talk to people you don’t know.”

07. portfolio

Remember, if you’re going to record a demo of your product, make it good. Bad demos can doom great projects.

08. fail

Remember, most ideas fail. A vast majority of ideas fail. But, get to that point quickly.

Strangely, I think that last one is the most important, but the hardest to do. Teaching yourself to be OK with failure tough, especially for journalists brought up on the need to be right 100% of the time.  Knight Foundation also provide links to a few US startups which they say are paving the way including and Patch.


Meanwhile in sunny London, the second of our Future of News Business Bootcamps takes place on the 27th July. We’ll be getting together six or seven journalists interested in travel journalism and making it sustainable. If you’d like to be one of them, contact me via my website!