Dr. Michael Maier, founder of Netzeitung, the 7-year-old online-only newspaper serving Germany, is leaving to come over here for a Shorenstein fellowship at Harvard, I’m glad to report (for our sake). On the way out, Maier is buying the networked journalism project he started there, Readers-Edition.de, as a platform for German-language citizen journalism (BÃ¼rgerjournalismus) and the flagship for a new venture, Blogform Publishing, bringing Web 2.0 to journalism. Maier is a accomplished journalist — former editor of the Berliner Zeitung, Stern, and Vienna’s Presse — and an experienced entrepreneur, so I look forward to seeing what evolves. (Here‘s my Guardian column about Maier, Netzeitung, and Readers-Edition.) He sent an email to Readers-Edition writers (if I get the translation right) saying: “I believe that Readers Edition has great potential. . . . This changes the journalism fundamentally and it changes the society fundamentally.” Interesting that in the comments on the announcement at Readers-Edition, there was much discussion of payments. Which leads me to this. . . .
I found this checking out links at Medienlese, where I also saw a link to Thomas KnÃ¼wer, Handelsblatt journalist and blogger, talking about VCs supporting new journalism ventures (auf Deutsch). Which leads me to this. . . .
I wonder whether we will, indeed, start seeing more venture investment in not just media but specifically in journalistic projects. Some have said that the moguls thinking of spending billions to buy hunks of Tribune Company or the New York Times Company would be better off just starting new ventures that are not dragged down by the tremendous costs of old media’s infrastructure. There is money to be made in news and I do think it will be made a lot faster creating new ventures rather than trying to reform old ones.