A Free Entrepreneurial Journalism Teaching and Learning Toolkit

Help yourself to shared resources: a new set of original & curated materials for anyone teaching or learning about news innovation

When we developed our Tow-Knight Entrepreneurial Journalism program in 2010, the field was in its infancy. I hunted in vain for teaching resources. No syllabi, lesson plans, textbook or resource guides. Those of us teaching made it up as we went along, learning alongside our students.

Now, eight years later, we’re fortunate to have a thriving community of entrepreneurial journalists and educators sharing materials. But finding high-quality resources can be time-consuming, and a lot of terrific teaching material is buried in obscurity.

That’s why I’m sharing today at #ONA18 a beta version of the Entrepreneurial Journalism Teaching Toolkit. I hope it’ll make life a little easier for anyone teaching — or studying — this subject.

Teaching and studying Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Newmark J-School’s Tow-Knight Center

There are more than 150 distinct elements so far in this repository, ranging from simple one-page handouts to a book-length collection of case studies. The beta version of the toolkit includes dozens of readings and reports, organized by category, as well as myriad handouts and worksheets for use in class. It also has the following elements:

Lesson Plans

Whether you’re leading sessions for the first time or you’re a veteran, these are plans you can plug into individual class sessions within classes you’re running right now or are planning for the future.


These are templates for what courses in entrepreneurial journalism might look like. These include an online course in entrepreneurial journalism and a course in new business models for news, among others. More will be added.

Master List of Teaching Materials

I’ve gathered some classroom-tested readings, videos, podcasts, newsletters, books and social media accounts for use in your classes. These are fodder for assignments, in-class discussions and syllabi.

Subject Guides

Docs rich with stats and reference material for teaching students about specific entrepreneurial journalism topics. Topics include: Newsletters, Podcasts, Engagement, Revenue, Journalism Products and more.

Slide Decks

This collection will grow to include a range of student presentations, expert presentations about entrepreneurial journalism, and decks used by media startups that can serve as models.

Case Studies

Bringing real-world ventures into the classroom makes for lively learning. Starting with a handful of curated cases, we’ll continue building this into a repository for a wide array of cases.

Whatever you’re teaching or learning within the domain of news innovation, the toolkit will hopefully help you quickly find useful material when you need it. Some of the material is original — much of it is curated from the vibrant and growing community of entrepreneurial educators and innovators. I hope the repository will be useful for, among other things:

  • Introductory undergraduate journalism courses
  • Graduate seminars on the future of news or the business of media
  • Professional development workshops on what’s next for news
  • Courses on entrepreneurial journalism or journalism’s evolving landscape

Every teacher has her/his own needs, style, and context. So the materials in the toolkit aren’t intended to be a one-size fits all. They’re designed, rather, to be varied enough to serve people teaching in multiple contexts, in classes of various sizes, at differing levels.

The toolkit is a work-in-progress, so there may be some thin spots. What you see in it today is the first iteration of what I hope will be a growing, useful repository. I hope this will be developed collaboratively, so please share suggestions and materials.

What have I forgotten? What else should we include? What have you created or curated that we can add to the growing collection? Share your input by commenting below or email towknight@journalism.cuny.edu

Help build the shared toolkit by suggesting materials we should include.