Startup City Magazine

Financing Digital Journalism with Frugality and Entrepreneurship



An international research by Niemen Labs revealed how digital journalism in the Us and UK are being financed. A report called “Chasing Sustainability on the Net” revealed that startups with journalism in the U.S will soon have to follow two main lessons in the near future, and these are entrepreneurship and frugality.

The publications with the highest chance of success here were the niche and hyper local ones, with voids by retreating legacy media being filled up. Niche online publications can now take a look at various strategies that are emerging, as mentioned in the report. However, it has also been mentioned that revenue woes do not possess one magic solution.

It has also been found that most hyper local startups that deal with journalism rely on the traditional model of advertisements and this is despite legacy media’s rising pay walls in the U.S. In fact, manager of The Batvian, Howard Owens even went visiting people from door to door in his community in order to hawk banner ads.

Though having shown a disappointment in the prevalence of traditional ads, the Niemen Labs has reported that online advertising is likely to increase in the years to come.

Though having noted some very new streams of revenue, combinations of older more interesting models were also to be found. After having surveyed nine startups in the U.S, it has been found that ad revenues have been replaced by membership, consulting and content syndication.

Two major takeaways here were entrepreneurship and frugality. With minimal staff in the company, the technology costs were also kept low. Sometimes the staff would consist of just one fulltime employee.

The report also revealed a better business mind and a more entrepreneurial spirit in newsrooms today. In some cases both the editorial and the business were handled by the staff in the organization.

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