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The J-Lab Blog

Observations and learnings on journalism 

  • Trending: University News Sites

    Jun. 6, 2012 Jan SchafferUniversity News Sites

    Quietly, and not so quietly, journalism schools around the country are starting to give their students new news opportunities. More than beefing up course catalogues with multimedia and convergence offerings, the schools are becoming incubators for entrepreneurial news startups – news websites that are populated with student content.

  • The Tail Wagged the Dog

    Feb. 28, 2012 Jan SchafferThe Tail Wagged the Dog

    Amid the current shakeouts of independent news sites, it’s important to understand all the ingredients that make these sites successful. In the case of the Chicago News Cooperative, its problems were not confined to its failure to raise revenues.

    From its very start, the site was never able to generate the kind of juice that is critical to convert audiences into donors, advertisers or committed readers even as it ...

  • Independent New Sites: The Pendulum is Swinging Both Ways

    Feb. 15, 2012 Jan SchafferIndependent New Sites: The Pendulum is Swinging Both Ways - Community Sites Map

    J-lab just finished vetting some 227 proposals to fund women-led startups. We learned that the appetite for starting up independent news and information websites seems to be as keen as ever and the ideas for new projects are quite creative.

  • Women News Entrepreneurs Get Creative

    Jan. 5, 2012 Jan Schaffer

    The latest crop of women news entrepreneurs who received J-Lab support in June 2011 are showing remarkable ingenuity and initiative in raising revenues, developing partnerships and making presentations.

  • What Will 2012 Bring for the Media?

    Jan. 4, 2012 Jan Schaffer2012

    Here are some of my thoughts on what will happen in the world of journalism this year as well as my wishes for what I think should happen. Overall, I think “news entrepreneurship” will enter the lexicon in major ways. Entrepreneurial ideas will be informed by a new sense of urgency over the impending loss of original journalism generated by both new and old news entities.

  • The Rise of Indie Local News Sites

    Oct. 4, 2011 Jan SchafferBlock by Block

    There is no question that independent local news startups are spreading like wild fire around the country.  J-Lab has been updating its database and has about 1,200 listed to date, with more to be uploaded.

  • A Gee-Whiz Day for Journalism Innovations

    Sep. 8, 2011 Jan Schaffer2011 Knight Forum

    A good 120 people braved heavy rains to attend yesterday’s Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. They were richly rewarded. They saw new engagement ideas, data libraries, plus open-source and social media tools.

  • Internal Compasses Chart Local News Site Ethics

    Jul. 19, 2011 Jan Schaffer

    For all the criticism of the local blogosphere, a funny thing happens when you look at Small-J journalism from the inside out as we did in the new report, “Rules of the Road: Navigating the New Ethics of Local Journalism.”

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