When I first saw on Jeff Jarvis’ Facebook page that he was assembling the jury for his “entrepreneurial journalism” contest, I quipped that what used to be an oxymoron is now worthy of a prize. Wonderful, isn’t it, that students in J-school now can ask for a few thousand bucks to start their own publishing businesses. Jarvis points to a post by NYTimes’ Saul Hansell, one of the judges, who says that no one starting out in journalism should ask advice of anyone who’s been in the business more than five years.
Fair enough. The ideas Hansell mentions -- a hyper-local site for Brooklyn's perennially troubled Bed-Sty neighborhood, a magazine for Muslim women, etc. -- are great niche ideas. I do find myself wondering where the business model for supporting deep, investigative journalism comes from. Perhaps, from the same place it comes from now: Other "verticals" like business, tech -- and perhaps a bunch of ad-supported hyper-local blogs and community apps -- that make enough profit to pay the expensive journalistic productions.