In Search of Creative Revenue Ideas
Thinking back to my journalism school days, I remember professors telling me that I should try to block advertising sales and business development out of my mind because it would taint my reporting.
But here's what they missed. Local businesses are just as much a part of your community as the consumers who live there, and in fact business owners are often some of the most active, participating members of any community. It's possible to serve the interests of the community, and also the interests of local business, and harness that to pay for services that help the entire community.
As newsrooms lay off reporters because the advertising side could no longer bring in enough to pay the bills, everyone at every level of a news organization has an obligation to think about how to fund the great work they do. If you continue to assume that someone else is going to step in and solve this problem, you may find yourself with a pink slip instead of a savior. Now is the time -- and for some, the last opportunity -- to make your ideas heard. Trust me: it won't soil your hands, it won't influence your reporting, and it may even be fun.
As far as I'm aware, Printcasting is one of only three Knight News Challenge projects that has any sort of revenue / sustainability plan at all. The other two are David Cohn's Spot Us, and Richard Anderson's Village Soup. I don't say that to toot our collective horns, but rather to encourage more people to incorporate revenue into their plans for the next Knight News Challenge round.
Speaking of which, if you have such an idea you can use the new News Challenge Garage to start fleshing it out with the help of others who can tell you how to make it better -- including all 26 existing news challenge winners (which means also me!) By the time the News Challenge officially opens on September 2, you'll have a better proposal that will stand out against the thousands of others that didn't benefit from such advice.
knight news challenge, revenue