The ingredient list for a journalism startup once began with ink, presses and trucks. Now the recipe often starts with a domain, a niche and a strategy. The decline in launch costs has helped inspire a boom in journo startups. But just because it’s easier to start something doesn’t mean it’s easier to succeed.
What many journalism entrepreneurs need most is a path to sustainability. The Poynter Institute can help, thanks to 35 years of journalism training experience and a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.
Make your pitch to Poynter.
Enter Poynter’s competition for online startups and you could win the Poynter Promise Prize. Two winners whose ideas best advance the journalistic ideals of The Poynter Institute (“standing for journalism, serving democracy”) will receive up to $10,000 each in contracted accounting, legal, research or promotion work, plus coaching and mentoring by Poynter faculty and our Ford Fellows in Entrepreneurial Teaching.
Winners will spend up to two weeks this winter at Poynter in St. Petersburg, Fla., receiving guidance on their journalism — and business — idea. Then, over the next six months, we’ll continue to coach the venture.
We’re looking for projects that would benefit most from incubation and whose progress might yield insights for other journalism startups around the country. Your business must already have initial funding, even if it is your own money. You must have an idea for a sustainable business model. You must be willing for Poynter to share our work together so that this project can be both a laboratory and a showcase for lessons learned.
Enter your pitch today. Here’s how:
Create a video by Tuesday, Oct. 12, that describes the news product or service you’re building. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the video. Include in your message the name of your project and your name and contact info.
Keep your video to under three minutes and tell us the basics of your business idea:
1) The problem/opportunity you seek to address
2) Your solution, or your idea
3) Who else is doing this
4) Your planned revenue streams
5) The skills and credentials of you and your team.