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Entrepreneurial journalism

Digital Publishing Gets A Little Smarter (and Better Looking) With Matter’s 2nd Round of Startups

matterdemodayThis week, Matter’s second round of start-ups took over New York City for a demo day at WNYC’s Greene Space. All of the companies spent the past 100 days in a work space in San Francisco, working with mentors and each other, to bring their ideas to fruition.

All the start-ups are focused on innovating in the media industry and a few specifically are targeting digital publishing. Contextly was the ‘oddball’ of the group, according to co-founder Ryan Singel, because they already had a bit of a foothold in the market. Forget Outbrain and recommended content recommendation faux pas (ever found a right wing article linked to on a liberal leaning news site? It happens.), Contextly’s algorithms help you find better content, micro-manage it as much as possible, and focuses on building reader engagement and community on your site. Says Singel: Read more

In These Times Magazine Launches Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting

Investigative reporting is getting a much-needed shot in the arm from venerable and fiercely independent media voice, In These Times.

Progressive In these timesThe progressive, nonprofit magazine recently announced the launch of the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting in an effort to support and expand the number of investigative reports published In These Times while also providing reporters with necessary resources to pursue under-reported national and international topics. Read more

Don’t Miss the Jan. 14 #MuckedUp Chat on Digital Journalism Startups

photoTonight (Jan. 14) at 8 p.m. Eastern time, log into your Twitter feed and follow the hashtag #MuckedUp for Muck Rack’s weekly chat — this time, the topic is about digital entrepreneurship and journalism startups.

As Adam Popescu said in his event preview, “today’s journalism is like an avalanche of content that seems never ending.” Because of this fact, Popescu reasons there are two categories of journalists: “churnalists,” who thrive, at least for the short term, on the hustle and bustle of constant deadlines and producing tons of content — and then there’s the “entrepreneurial” type, who is more fulfilled in sniffing out underreported stories and earning a reputation as a topical expert.

Read more

Locable Network Targets Entrepreneurial Journalists

locable pic 2Locable, a growing network of 45-plus local community news-oriented websites, is hoping to succeed where other hyperlocal operations have faltered.

The company, started five years ago as an MBA research project out of the University of Washington, differentiates itself from similar hyperlocal operations, such as Patch, by providing a turnkey program for both established and new, owner-operated media entrepreneurs. Read more

Are You Ready to Pitch for ONA’s Challenge Fund?

ONA Challenge FundHave you been wandering around your j-school campus, mulling over a good idea? It’s time to get a team together — applications opened this week for the Online News Association’s Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism. ONA is rewarding 15-25 micro-grants, up to $35,000 each, to ‘live news experiements’ to be completed in the 2014-2015 academic year. You have until February to get your project toegther.

It’s all about ‘hacking the curriculum,’ and they’re not looking for projects that are already flushed out or have matching funds. From their website:

Your project should stretch the limits of what you think you can do. Don’t be afraid to fail. We’re looking for projects that implement live news experiments in a variety of ways by empowering journalism schools to lead professional innovation and thought leadership. The size of your school or program shouldn’t limit the project’s ambition.

ONA makes it clear that they want teams to be collaborative — mixing students, faculty, developers, and your local news outlet and community is mandatory. You should also be ready to test run your project,  publish the results, and add it to the curriculum. The Challenge Fund website says they’re looking for teams that:

  • encourag[e] collaborative, student-produced local news coverage
  •  bridg[e] the professor-professional gap
  •  us[e] innovative techniques and technologies
  • and produc[e] shared learnings from their digital-age news experiments

One grand prize will be given to the project most likely to change the newsgathering status quo, and another large prize will go to the team with the best project evaluation, regardless of the outcome. It’s a win-win all around.

You can apply here and follow the competition at #hackcurriculum. The contest is run by ONA and funded by the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund.

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