Today I am launching a sister site to the Online Journalism Blog: Journalism Enterprise.com will review websites that are attempting to make money from journalism in the new media age. Consider it a TechCrunch of journalism startups.
Why am I doing this? Because journalism is changing, not only as a job and a process, but as an industry. How journalism – particularly good journalism – is going to survive in a world of free content is perhaps one of the biggest and most difficult questions of the moment.
There are so many experiments by so many people in so many fields – from journalists going it alone to large news organisations trying new projects, from amateurs who feel passionately about their field to non-profit organisations who see the potential of the web, and from internet startups to established new media players, I thought we needed a blog to keep track of it all and provide a place for debating the issues involved.
And I say “we”, because this is a team blog – in fact, I won’t be doing much of the writing at all. Reviews – which are done to a simple six-question format – are written by a team of bloggers from all over the world, who I’ve either invited to contribute, or who approached me as part of my appeal for virtual interns.
Membership of that team is very much open – if you want to contribute to Journalism Enterprise.com (or indeed OJB), please contact me. You will then be invited to join a mailing list, through which leads will circulate. You volunteer for whatever you’re able to do, or interested in reviewing.
You’ll notice that there are already almost a dozen reviews on the site.
If you know of a project you’d like us to review, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, please browse through the site, post your comments, and hope you find it stimulating.
The idea, by the way, is shamelessly stolen from my colleague Andrew Dubber’s similar site for music startups, New Music Ideas. I was toying with using a wiki to do this before Dubber knocked on my door, and his way of doing things seemed so much better. Thanks Andrew.
This post is part of a Carnival of Journalism, hosted this month by Adrian Monck.
Interesting site, but just a quick note on iNorden: the site is neither making money nor planning to do so in the future + the citizen journalism’s english offering isn’t quite representative for the site as a whole due to limited number of contributors writing in english (and no, I have no association with the site, just been watching it develope from the ashes for a former citizen journalism portal depesjer.no)
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iNorden don’t want to make money — and that’s what written in the review!
As Paul wrote, we’re also covering non-profit ventures, as passion is often a driving force behind content production.
(on the non-English stories, I’d have been glad to comment on them but my understanding of Scandinavian languages is rather limited. Any Danish/Swedish/etc. writer is welcome in the JE.com team!)
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“Paul Bradshaw explains it better”….with a line like this no one will read my post…what a mistake to make lol.
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Great Paul … I have been drumming this into my students for years — and colleagues along the way — that if we’re to remain in business (and prosper) journalists have to focus on what staying in business really means. i look forward to contributing.
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how can I not like (other) guys who shamelessly (and let’s use the correct word here) “borrow” the ideas of others.
Let me know if/when you are going to have something (Fan Page?) on Facebook?
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What do they say it is?
Journalism Enterprise.com will review Web sites that are attempting to make money from journalism in the new media age. Consider it a TechCrunch of journalism startups.
What do I say it is?
Blogroll with paragraphs. Clique-ster. Project J-Way.
What’s great about it?
You’re either in, or you’re out.
What could be better?
Less sarcasm. More transparency. Proof of validity. Reviewer bios…
How is it going to make money?
Most likely to be used as a vitae hit.
Should I pay any attention?
The overarching attempt to replicate word of mouth seems to miss the bucket entirely. At least in its current state.
Thanks for the witty review!
Will take some of your points on board, particularly the bios. What do you mean by “proof of validity”?
Not sure what you mean by either being ‘in’ or ‘out’/Cliquester, though – anyone can join.
@Paul: Witty, ha. I thought I might get a little sh*t for this. My apologies. I certainly don’t mean offense. I’m a fan. I subscribe, I often point to you, etc. However, I looked at this from a different angle. Here’s what I mean:
How are your reviewers qualified? Who are they, and why should I care? This could easily be squashed with reviewer bios and by allowing multiple reviews. In its current state, it comes across as a personal blog with comments, and I don’t believe that’s what you’re going for. That said, I feel this could easily turn into a tit-for-tat situation where your reviewers look at the periphery, and potentially miss some crucial voices and functions in and of journalism Web sites. What’s in place to prevent JE from being took over by ill bias or turning into someone else’s “favorites” or “bookmarks” or “worst of” list?
I assume there are guidelines in place for reviewers, how sites are chosen, etc. What are they?
To give you an example of a site that does something similar is metacric.com. The entertainment review site compiles reviews from multiple authors and assigns a ratings system that’s easy to understand. The “user” reviews don’t feel second-hand. This way, it feels very much like a community-driven effort and I’m not reading what just one person thinks.
You’re right – there are potential pitfalls. But rather than cripple the site before it’s gotten going by over-restrictive practices, I’m waiting to see if it happens before I stamp on any abuse.
That said, there are some processes in place: team members post their review to the ‘team’ as a whole 24 hours before it can go live, and any objections have to be dealt with before it is published. They cannot publish until they have had one review accepted. And they agree not to review sites they have any connection with (including receiving money).
Sites are suggested by anyone, and are chosen by anyone. At the moment we’re not overwhelmed by leads, so pretty much all sites are getting seen. Again, if that changes we’ll look at filtering.
I’m not against more than one person reviewing any site – but I’d prefer to review more sites.
And the review is only the starting point – comments should be a place for others to add their dissent, etc. But I think that could be more clearly signposted and encouraged.
Thanks for giving me food for thought…
I suck at HTML, so, please bear with me.
You said: “But rather than cripple the site before it’s gotten going by over-restrictive practices, I’m waiting to see if it happens before I stamp on any abuse.”
My bad. I don’t mean to be Darren Downer. I assumed that with the announcement, you were ready to roll and that beta-testing had been completed.
Clarification question: I’m confused how a 24-hour objection period is helpful unless the team as a whole has reviewed the site. Otherwise, how would they know what to object to? And in that case, wouldn’t that constitute as “more” reviews that could also be published?
You said: “I’m not against more than one person reviewing any site – but I’d prefer to review more sites.”
This seems framed as an either-or scenario. I assume that’s not your intention, and that you want both—is that correct?
I think it’s a wonderful idea. I look forward to seeing how it progresses.
Beta testing has been done, and so far there’s been no abuse. Hence, no stamping.
Does an editor watch what his reviewers have watched? No. But if his reviewer writes something ridiculous, it’s picked up. Anyway, the real editors here are the blogosphere. As I said, the review is just the start.
And it is either-or: either you review what someone else has, or you review something they haven’t. Few volunteers have time to do both.
If it’s an either-or situation, then posting reviews “to the team 24 hours” prior to publication doesn’t really work. I sympathize with how delicate time can become as well as working with volunteers; however, you say there’s a 24-hour policy when in fact, it’s more like an if-you-have-time or an if-anyone-wants-to policy. Which is fine. It’s your site. I just think that the methodology should be clear.
I also don’t think you should say “either-or.” It’s one of those cup half-full / half-empty things. I say, go big.
If the “real editors” are the blogosphere, then I think you’re right – a larger signpost is needed. As it stands now, I have to click on the title of the post and then click on “comments” to read what these editors have to say.
As you said, the review is just the start. So, I look forward to seeing the finish.
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