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December 18 2009


Newsleader: Winners of the ‘Talkies’ 2009

Justin Kings, radio journalist and media consultant (check out his biog here) has chosen his best radio of 2009 – in what he calls ‘The Talkies’.

Here’s his one of his winners in the ‘Beyond the Call of Duty’ / multimedia category, awarded to Adam Westbrook for his work in Iraq – as a local radio journalist.

Adam Westbrook was sent [to Iraq] for Viking FM to cover the story of North Yorkshire soldiers serving out there. As well as filing radio pieces, he enhanced the experience for the audience by shooting video, nicely packaged, and producing a very effective audio slide show. It is a great example of what can be achieved within local commercial radio news.

An example of his video content here:

Full post at this link…

Adam Westbook and Justin Kings will both be speaking at news:rewired, 14 January 2010, City University.

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November 30 2009


Journalism students as entrepreneurs

“Are traditional skills enough or do the new generation of journalists also need to be entrepreneurs?” asked Patrick Barkham in a Media Guardian feature today.

He cited examples of entrepreneurship, as preached by CUNY’s Jeff Jarvis, in journalism departments at various British universities.

Journalism.co.uk – rather an old ’start-up’ at 10 years old, it must be said – got a mention, along with my comment that blogs and Twitter gave student journalists more opportunity than ever for a platform from which to get noticed.

But the real challenge of making money is rather more tricky than just getting heard, as the debate on today’s NUJ New Media email list indicated.

“Surely freelancers have always been entrepreneurs?” one contributor commented.

“Yes, journalists need to be taught about how business works and also how to manage people (how many journalists do you know who have made awful managers?) But that might be more appropriate to ongoing training than basic foundation courses,” added Journalism.co.uk’s founder John Thompson.

Alex Wood, City University alumni and a founder of the Berlin Project, thinks the entrepreneurial speak is ‘old news,’ saying that he and his student colleagues regularly made use of freelance opportunities, web design and online articles. “I’d say with most courses now over £10,000, becoming an ‘entrepreneur’ isn’t a skill, it’s a necessity (…) It’s a simple case of sink or survive and with huge debt around graduates necks these days, people are a lot more willing to fight.”

Meanwhile, multimedia and recently freelance journalist, Adam Westbrook, said that ‘this talk about journalists-as-entrepreneurs recognises a distinction between freelance journalism and entrepreneurship’.

“Yes, if freelancers run themselves as mini businesses there is some similarity, but I think its also about embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, looking for new markets and opportunities to exploit – seems a bit anti-journalism but that’s the game I think.

“And the ultimate journalism start-up is the one which cuts a profit and self sustains (ideally not through advertising alone), rather than living off grants or donations.”

Paul Bradshaw, lecturer at Birmingham City University and founder of the OnlineJournalismBlog, thinks the new approach does go beyond traditional methods; it’s a form of entrepreneurial journalism ‘that seeks to find new business models for journalism, rather than existing freelance journalism models,’ he said. “That could be anything from new forms of advertising, public funds, or platforms like iPhone apps etc.”

Join the debate and send your own examples, in the comments, or through Twitter (via @journalismnews):

  • How is the new journalistic entrepreneurship different from freelancing of present / yore?
  • Are journalism schools the right places to develop these skills? Or would students be better off in business school?

Entrepreneurship will be one of the topics tackled at our news:rewired conference on 14 January 2010. See http://newsrewired.com for more details. Tickets on sale now.

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November 20 2009


New meet-up group organised to discuss the future of news

Freelance journalist Adam Westbrook has set-up a new meeting group (online and offline) for UK-based journalists interested in where their industry is headed.

As the UK Future of News Group website explains:

“We’re undergoing a digital revolution. The value of news has disappeared, and with it, the revenues of papers and TV stations around the world. But from all the turmoil new opportunities are emerging, if you look in the right places.

“The UK Future of News Group is for anyone interested in the future of journalism. Whether you’re a journalism student, a young journalist or a seasoned professional, the group is a place to openly and positively discuss new ideas.

“We’re not here to talk about why journalism is in trouble, or the death of newspapers, no no no. Save that for the blogs.

“We’re here to actually come up with the ideas which will determine what comes next. That could be a new news start-up, a new idea for aggregating content, or the alternative to Murdoch’s paywall. Who knows.

“You don’t have to have an actual idea to attend a meeting, but we hope eventually someone will come up with the next big thing!

“At the very least we hope it’ll provide a positive, open environment where new ideas can flourish.”

The first group meeting is scheduled for 7 December at a location somewhere in London (revealed to members of the group, who must sign-up online). Journalism.co.uk hopes to be there – especially to talk about our new event news:rewired.

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