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Sustainability: The New Business Models for News Summit

When talking about the future of news, especially about newspapers, there’s a tendency to focus a lot on what journalists in the newsroom should be doing. But over the past year, it’s become increasingly clear to me that the conversation has at long last come around the question of business models.

As I look at what is happening to the news industry, I don’t see a crisis in journalism. I see an opportunity for us to do better journalism and connect more profoundly with our communities. The crisis is on the business side, where the advertising model is failing. That led me, back in the spring. to ask, “Where’s the innovation in business models?”

And that’s why I’m thrilled to be heading to New York this week to attend the New Business Models for News Summit on Thursday at the City University of New York. The event is being organized by CUNY’s Jeff Jarvis and David Cohn, founder of Spot.Us and a fellow Knight Foundation News Challenge winner.

Here’s how Jarvis and Cohn summarize the event:

“We at CUNY believe that finding, sharing, and creating new business for news is an urgent need in journalism – perhaps our most urgent need. We have called this summit to begin doing just that, bringing a diverse group of editorial and business executives, entrepreneurs, and academics to the school.”

The list of attendees is impressive (not including me, of course). And even more interesting is the agenda. The morning will be focused on presentations. The afternoon will consist of five break-out groups covering five topics:

– Network models for news and media
– New structures for news organizations
– New efficiencies and structures for newsrooms
– New revenue opportunities and models
– Public support of journalism

I’ve been assigned to “New efficiencies and structures for newsrooms.” Hopefully, someone will be recording all the sessions because I’m sure each one is going to be productive.

Throughout the day, I’ll be tweeting and posting updates here (maybe live blogging if it makes sense). And I hope to flag a few folks in attendance for one-on-one interviews that I’ll share here.

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts on this subject, suggestions, innovations, please post them here and I’ll share them with folks on Thursday.

One Response

  1. Will be very interested in what comes out of this. Looking forward to reading more.

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