Senior Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Senior Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation (JOUR 4XX) is designed to be a year-long course for all students who work as editors and news directors of the Journalism Department’s digital-first, integrated student-run news organization, with a full digital and social presence, a twice-weekly newspaper, weekly TV news show and daily radio news broadcasts.

This is a revision of a course I taught years ago, JOUR 422, Senior Media Leadership. Then, its focus was on developing management and leadership skills.

The focus has changed to incorporate the Disruptive Innovation framework developed by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, author of "The Innovator's Dilemma." I had the honor of working with Dr. Christensen and his company, Innosight, when they applied their framework to the newspaper industry. The tools we developed as part of the American Press Institute's Newspaper Next initiative are extremely useful for nurturing an innovative and entrepreneurial approach within an existing organization. These tools  are all available online for free from the API site. 

When the Journalism Department launched its integrated news operation in 2013, we were essentially reinventing how students produce and distribute news. The Newspaper Next approach looks at the marketplace for ideas and direction, asking what "jobs" consumers need to get done in their lives and developing "products" that can meet those needs in new, sometimes cheaper, sometimes faster ways. It's an excellent framework to get students to create new products and services that can grow their business.

We have yet to launch this course; it is still in development. During the course of my Fellowship year, I worked with a small team of student media leaders to create a vision and mission for the new news organization and introduced concepts like Newspaper Next to them in small, informal sessions held in the evenings.