By Eddy Rodriguez
The past decade or so has seen a massive shift in the way journalism is done. Print journalism is in its decline and even journalistic sites that exist primarily on the web have seen layoffs.
This shift has allowed for the growth of entrepreneurial journalism, which has been in an uptick over the past few years, and requires some creativity.
Entrepreneurial journalists simply see a need in the market and then stake their claim. Then they have to get the word out that the “thing” that has been missing is now available. When the audience responds in droves, if you are lucky, the new business venture is deemed successful.
One such example is ProPublica. This online publication does news differently than your parent’s daily newspaper. ProPublica relies heavily on the public to get information or ideas for their stories, which are usually in-depth by nature.
Here is the best part: its free!
The site is completely donor-based, which is great because they are not beholden to any one person. And since the public collaborates with them, it incentivizes them to donate, as well. Every year they release a review that includes metrics for how often their site is accessed and how all the money they take in is spent.
The public wins when these projects are successful long-term because usually, these kinds of ventures are answering a need that the public is clamoring for.
The “losers” of this whole ordeal are traditional journalistic outlets, which actually does not bode well for the public either. While their money-making strategies are outdated, being, for the most part, ad-based, these outlets provide invaluable information to the public because of the professional journalists they employ.
Hopefully, future journalists will be trained in how to do journalism responsibly while making a steady-income at the same time. Lucky for me, that time is now.