In the current media landscape where online startups are looking to fill the void left by wilting traditional media, starting a business is only the beginning. Though first steps are important, many startups are starting to face problems in sustaining their enterprises. This is what a new study by the Renaissance Journalism Center seeks to understand. The study surveyed 32 media startups to see what challenges they are facing in terms of preserving and obtaining funds. What can we learn from these findings to help build sustainable journalism startups?
1. Be on the lookout for new sources of revenue
Most of the startups surveyed (71.9 percent) are non-profits that received initial funding in the form of foundation grants. But grants are more difficult to obtain for existing sites so many of the organizations are finding themselves short of resources. Foundations are more interested in funding new journalistic experiments, not helping existing ones survive. That means startups need to be resourceful: build relationships with local journalism experts from schools, trade organizations, and angel investor groups. Communicating with similar startups can encourage idea sharing about new streams of revenue.