January 1, 2009

Can laid-off journalists do web business ?

A headline change on LinkedIn (Job or freelance work wanted), a FaceBook status on someone acquiring a co-worker's flowers, and a couple of posts in blogs written by people I've worked with help create a gloomy start to 2009. Yes, more folks I know either start 2009 jobless or know they soon will be.

Yet some still offer hope, the idea that there might be a way to ensure communities are covered and laid-off journalists can find new ways to earn pay.

For instance, a group of believers that the changes happening can lead to something better ask:
What would a news-organization incubator look like?

Anyone interested is invited to a Jan. 21 Talkfest set in Columbia, Missouri. Only cost is getting there. Or you can also attend via Adobe Connect.

Bill Densmore invited folks via his FaceBook status to an event called "Putting Feet on the Streets for Journalism/" The event recognizes layoffs atnewspapers, lack of coverage in communities while web efforts grow.

Over on the wiki about the effort it says:
"the RJI Collaboratory could provide resources and knowledge on how to start effective and successful Web-based news organizations. Those who could benefit from the news organization incubator are entrepreneurial mid-career journalists, and existing news organizations that are undertaking the transformational strategies necessary to adapt to a Webcentric world."

The plans for the one day session are set:

"During the one-day event, we'll meet together in the morning to show you some successful Web-based news organizations. We'll discuss why we think a news organization incubator is necessary, and identify issues that entrepreneurial journalists and existing news organizations face as they make the transition to becoming Webcentric news organizations.

In the afternoon, we'll meet in working groups to address particular issues in starting a news organization incubator, and how it will function. The approaches developed in those groups will serve as the foundation for a plan for the RJI Collaboratory. "

Fellow Jane Ellen Stevens is the main contact (jstevens@mmjourno.com, 707-495-1112) is the contact. But first head to the wiki for more details on program, goals, etc.

Happy new year. Happy new ways.


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