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Starting a news organization from scratch - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DanOregon, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    If you were to start the "modern news organization" from scratch, and not in a "boss hosts a "brainstorming" session in a conference room" kind of way, but more in a Dr. Philip Barbay - Back to School manner, what would you do?

    What is the format? Radio, TV, Internet, Print?
    Who is the target audience and what do you cover/not cover?
    How do you make a profit?
  2. editorhoo

    editorhoo Member

    I think Internet is the future.

    How do you make a profit? Figure that one out and you unlock the door to the future of our industry.

    I think the imporant thing would be to minimize overhead (i.e. cost of paper, ink, pressroom and mailroom emloyees, etc.). Running an Internet news organization could be done with minimal staff. Really, you wouldn't need much more than(depending on market size) some reporters, a few Web masters and some ad reps.
  3. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    What is the format? Full-service internet site (available via a monthly, or yearly subscription fee), complete with each feature (radio, TV, internet). No print. Absolutely zero.

    Who is the target audience and what do you cover/not cover? When you sign up, you provide basic information (sex, age, job industry, interests) and the website then configures what news you're provided each day (yes, this is basically using the same concept of My Yahoo, My ESPN, etc...).

    How do you make a profit? Use a foundation of business partnerships and cross marketing (hypothetical - I purchase all the computers, software and servers to run my news organization from one company, in exchange they pay to advertise on my site for X amount of years), but put even a heavier emphasis on unique innovations. For instance, brokering deals with school districts, in which they pay X dollars to have my site freely installed on school computers to be used as a teaching tool for social studies, or in computer labs with journalism classes (just an example).

    It's late. I'm tired.... May be insanely stupid ideas, but oh well. I don't see any CEOs or publishers taking daring risks like this anyway. ;)
  4. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Online-only (likely with video/podcasting, etc.). Paid-subscription model, with some ads. Tightly niched, so you're not competing with what's already out there for free. Pick what you want to cover and do it really well. Leave out the rest. This is how a lot of business trade pubs work, and they seem to do just fine.

    I'm wondering lately if there's a market for paid-subscription model online magazines. High-quality monthlys with, say, really good crime stories, or excellent science writing. Think a more niche Atlantic Monthly. Would you pay $100 a year for one on something you were really interested in? With low overhead, it wouldn't take all that many subscriptions to make that work.
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