Entrepreneurial Journalism curriculum at CUNY

Here are the courses that make up the new Entrepreneurial Journalism curriculum at CUNY. We plan to offer these courses this spring–to our own students and to midcareer journalists. Once approved by the state, we’ll award a certificate and then an MA in entrepreneurial journalism.

This Monday evening the 29th at 6p, we’ll hold an information session at the school–219 W. 40th St. in NY–and we’ll stream it for folks who can’t be there. Details here. We’re accepting applications now–admissions addresses here.

We’ll teach a course in business basics in the media context and a course in new business models for news–which is really, I’ve discovered, a course about disruption (whether you cause it or have to cope with it). Students will create their own business plans and incubate them in a third course. We’ll give students an immersion in relevant technologies to inform their plans. And students will work on an apprenticeship in a New York startup to be exposed to startup and engineering culture. I’m delighted to be teaching these courses with my colleague, Jeremy Caplan, and others we’re recruiting in various specialties.

Students may leave starting their own businesses and making their own jobs. They may work for startups. They may bring entrepreneurship into legacy companies. And legacy companies may send them to the program. In my Entrepreneurial Journalism class at CUNY — an inspiration for this program — we have a few midcareer professionals in the class this term and I’m finding the mix with students to be good. So we plan to continue that mix in the larger program.

This educational program is one of the three legs of the stool that makes up the new Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. We will also continue research on new business models for news. We are also starting in incubator and investment fund. The research will inform the students businesses and those in the incubator and identify new opportunities we can help start. The courses we create for this program will also bring in resources to help teach and support businesses in the incubator. And having more services in the incubator will help the students with their businesses. That’s the idea.

At the end of the day, we hope to bring more innovation and innovators to journalism. That’s the hope.

Here are the syllabi (don’t ya love that word?) for the courses. If you would prefer, you can see them on Google Docs here.

CUNY Entrepreneurial Journalism curriculum

  • Matt Terenzio

    +1 I’m in the entrepreneurial journalism class this semester and it’s been great. Highly recommended.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Thanks, Matt. An Apple for the teachers….

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  • http://www.sunvalleyonline.com Dave Chase

    As a publisher of one of the relatively small number of six figure, profitable hyperlocal sites, I am very impressed with the curriculum. It’s very balanced, hands-on and comprehensive. The only area that I could find that I think you could dial up more from both a curriculum and research perspective is diving deeper in the behaviors, motivations and nuances of the local, independent businesses that certainly make up the lifeblood of SunValleyOnline, The Batavian, Capitol Hill Seattle and many of the other successful hyperlocal sites.

    The best thing I ever did for the long-term sustainability of the site was making myself the sales guy for nearly a year. Though I learned a lot that has informed our strategy and allowed us to survive through the downturn (in a market that was double walloped since its economic drivers are the sour real estate and tourism sectors), I feel like we could learn/know a lot more. Given that it is support from local business (note I didn’t say “advertising”) that will sustain hyperlocal sites, I think it would be impossible to over-emphasize gaining deeper insight into hyperlocal businesses. Much is known about national chains that exist locally but they aren’t of their communities where their stores reside. In contrast, it doesn’t seem like there’s an much known about truly local businesses and their owners (who usually make the marketing spend decisions).

    I don’t think display ads are the “killer app” for hyperlocal revenue generation. They are a part of the mix but I’m convinced other avenues will be critical to economic self-sustainability and dare I say prosperity. I’d like to see your courses emphasize a deeper understanding of what would motivate a hyperlocal business and thus what new marketing tools they need. Will it be group buying (we’re about to try that)? Will it be web dev services (NewWest.Net has embarked on that and just received new funding)? Will it be education (I am advising a venture working on digital marketing specialist certification)? Will it be the self-serve tools such as self-serve Twitter ads that Capitol Hill Seattle has? Will it be something completely new? I don’t know but the entire industry would benefit from CUNY really pushing the envelope on finding “made for the medium” marketing tools.

    A final note: Capitol Hill Seattle is a site that hasn’t gotten national visibility like West Seattle Blog, Baristanet, etc. but for my money they are doing the most innovation in local ad tools. They have both a killer made-for-the-market content management system and ad system. I’d put one of your profs/students on studying them especially since Seattle is a hotbed of hyperlocal activity.

  • http://blog.digidave.org Digidave

    I’ve only glanced over the curriculum – so apologies if it’s in there – but there should be some basic introduction on project management (working with a technical team) and project management working in a distributed company.

    I’ve seen PLENTY of startups screw up project management. If you are building something from scratch and don’t know how to communicate or work effectively with a technical partner/team – then don’t get started. I think your students should get a practical sense of ways to do that.

    Just my .02.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      David,
      You’re *way* right. We have learned that with students in our businesses already incubating. We have it in there in various ways but haven’t found the one great project or task yet.

  • http://twitter.com/graygoods Gray

    Regarding your recent story in “The Local” http://j.mp/dMX0S1 , Jeff – WHAT? “You have digitally desecrated your cities”? Aw, come on, really! You drama queen.

    You may not like our privacy laws, but they are there to safeguard the citizen against sleuthing coporations, which otherwise would know no bounds. And a recent NYT story ( http://j.mp/gxPPJh ) about an onlineshop owner from hell makes our point: “thanks to Google Earth, he can faux-stalk his customers without leaving his house” This made me think twice, and after being undecided for a long time about Google’s stalking, I now think the contra arguments prevail. Just imagine: “Nice home you have there, it would be too sad if something happened to it!”

    Now, don’t say Google Earth ISN’T and WON’T be used by criminals, too! There have already been reports that this happens.And what do we have on the pro side? Only the curiosity of people who want to see different cities without leaving their home! And their weak interest shall be more important than those of the residents? No way!

    I would opt out. And if you’re really “a friend of Germany”, as you claim, you should respect that and not protest against a privacy law that, I concede that, is rather un-American. But we don’t want to become more American here anymore! We jumped on the deregulation, rising inequality, terrorism laws, fast food and many other of your trains, and NEVER did anything good come out of it! We want our German privacy laws to stay, and not turn into the “everything is allowed” model of the US. Period.

    Remember, you recently wrote, in another context, “Who says our way is the right way?” Good insight! But you also wrote “I’m apparently an idiot.” Well, ok…

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      This is irrelevant under this post: off topic. There are plenty of posts on this blog on the topic — look at the tag “publicness” — and you’d be better to leave comments there.

      • http://twitter.com/graygoods Gray

        Thought it would be the best idea to leave them to the newest story, where you may see them. Minutes later, you posted the Google article. Bad luck with the timing, sry.

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          In any conversation, off-topic diversions are an nuisance. Same is true at the bar.

        • http://twitter.com/graygoods Gray

          Dunno which bars YOU frequent, but afaik there is no such thing as an “off-topic diversion” at a bar! Judging from my observations, diversions are the rule, not the exception!
          :D

  • http://twitter.com/graygoods Gray

    Oh, and regrarding your upcoming “book to be called “Public Parts” in the US – and “The German Paradox” in Germany” -sorry, but I think it will be a flop here. I don’t even think the US public is so much interested in your determined argument AGAINST privacy. It seems to me that the trend is rather going into the opposite direction recently…

  • http://twitter.com/graygoods Gray

    “If anything, the Stasi would have been the most eager to exercise their Verpixelungsrecht to obscure their buildings and actions from public view, taking advantage of the cloak of secrecy this idea provides.”

    Uh huh. But we don’t have the Stasi here anymore! And then, pls show me the Google Earth and Streetview pictures of Area 51 and other military installations in the US!

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