What I’m reading (and experimenting with) this week

This week I have been reading as much as I can about the business of journalism. After my first entrepreneurship challenge last week, I was very inspired to consider media entrepreneurship even more. I’m still pretty new at all this so I am trying to absorb as much material from experts as I can.

Here are my top two reads (plus a tech tool) I’ve been interested in this week:

1) BuzzMachine: “Are media in the content business?”


Screenshot from BuzzMachine

In this article journalist Jeff Jarvis asserts that media’s most important role may not be content creation at all, but rather relationship building (Read the article for more on this). Jarvis is known for his commentary on new media ideas, and his posts are, at times, controversial because they often challenge traditional ways of thinking about news. However, Jarvis’ ideas spark important conversations about the future of journalism. This article made me consider what the role of journalism should be.

Key quote: “We rarely know who our readers are (and we still call them just readers or at best commenters, not creators or collaborators). We do not have the means to gather, analyse and act on data about their activities and interests at an individual level. Thus we cannot serve them as individuals.”

2) Nieman Reports: “Mastering the art of disruptive innovation in journalism”


Screenshot from Nieman Reports

This report focuses on the unpleasant truth of the media business – “newspapers have been, on average, losing print advertising dollars at seven times the rate they have been growing digital ad revenue.” The report is a result of the collaborative efforts of a really smart Harvard Business professor and a really smart Nieman Fellow. The business professor had previously developed a theory of disruptive innovation and in this report he applies his business innovation findings to journalism. I would read this report 100 times over if I could because of how informative and thought provoking it was. The report is split into three parts which each consider ways media are being disrupted and what they should be doing differently: Always Consider the Audience First, When Times Change, Change Your Business and Build Capabilities for a New World. You’d be hard pressed to find a better read this month.

Key quote: “Creating an innovative newsroom environment means looking within the existing value network and beyond traditional business models to discover new experiences for audiences, then realigning your resources, processes and priorities to embrace these disruptions.”

3) Dash


Screenshot from Dash. I learned to code a website!

So Dash is not exactly an article, but it is a really awesome tool I have been using this week. Dash is a free coding tool that teaches coding step by step through projects. So far this week I have spent a lot of my free time on Dash because it’s really fun. Granted, I think coding is really fun to start with, but Dash makes coding feel like a fun game. As you code you see the results of your work on screen, and every time you complete a step the site explodes with green check marks. I’ve tried sites like Codecademy in the past, but Dash is much more engaging. I would highly recommend Dash if you’re interested in code but need a little on screen motivation to get started.


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