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December 21st: Journalists & entrepeneurs

Journalists Entrepeneurs Finally, it’s time for the second BCNMediaLab meeting. It will be on Tuesday, December 21st, at 19.30h in the bar 37 Grados in Barcelona.

Journalists & entrepeneurs: In the next BCNMediaLab we want to discuss an option that is increasingly popular among journalists: to become entrepeneurs. Journalists are building online micro news sites, social networks, independent audiovisual production companies, PR and communication agencies… Fortunately, there is a growing number of examples. What kind of knowledge and resources are necessary? Which ideas are more likely to succeed? and to fail? Is it a viable option for anybody, or only for a few?

We have invited four journalists-entrepeneurs to answer this and other questions, and to tell us their own experiences.

After the debate, do not leave so fast and join us for a Christmas beer in 37 Grados. Please, sign up here. See you on Tuesday 21st at 19.30.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on this blog as we will collect some ideas about this topic.

Journalists & entrepeneurs

BCNMediaLab: Journalists-EntrepeneursDate:Tuesday, December 21st
Time: 19:30h
Place: 37 Grados (Av. Roma/Comte Borrell)

Since 2007, thousands of journalists have lost their job. More than 5.000 are currently unemployed. The layoffs in media companies, traditional or not, are constant. There are almost no new job openings, and when they happen, the working conditions are poor. What’s the solution?

In the next BCNMediaLab we want to discuss an option that is increasingly popular among journalists: to become entrepeneurs. Journalists are building online micro news sites, social networks, independent audiovisual production companies, PR and communication agencies… Fortunately, there is a growing.number of examples.

Powerful initiatives like Politico and ProPublica in the US or Cuarto Poder, Periodismo Ciudadano or Bottup in Spain, have shown that the figure of journalist-entrepeneur is possible. Even Jeff Jarvis has launched the Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Hundreds of journalists are not waiting anymore for the media to provide them with a job. They invent one for themselves.

Is it possible to be a journalist-entrepeneur today in Spain? What kind of knowledge and resources are necessary? Which ideas are more likely to succeed? and to fail? Is it a viable option for anybody, or only for a few?

We have invited four journalists-entrepeneurs to answer this and other questions, and to tell us their own experiences:

  • Vicent Partal: is the founder and managing director of Vilaweb and it’s considered a pioneer in online and digital media in Catalonia. Before founding Vilaweb he worked as a journalist in El Temps, Diari de Barcelona, TVE, Cataluña Radio, el Punt and La Vanguardia.
  • Christian de Angelis y Pilar Riaño: In march 2010 they launched Modaes, an economic news website focused in the fashion market that has become a reference in the market in its few months of activity. They both used to work for Unidad Editorial economic newspaper, Expansión.
  • Valentí Sanjuan: Journalist, founder of cine.cat, responsible of the tweetpeli.org (collaborative movie made by twitter users) and the online TV and radio program Vist i no Vist, which was previously broadcasted by Catalunya Radio.
  • Andreu Caritg and Oriol Solé: journalists, co-founders of Patabrava.com, one of the first university-oriented social networks in Spain, founded in 2002, and with more than 300.000 users today.

Journalism has to reinvent itself

The BCNMediaLab is born with these ideas in mind. They are just starting point we wanted to share.

  • Journalism is not dead, and it will never die.
  • It’s not about creating new journalism, but rethinking the basis of journalism itself. It’s about rebuilding.
  • Self criticism is necessary to recover credibility.
  • Journalism needs to regain its social function, its civic duty.
  • Technological change has disrupted the chain of production and its added value. Business models change, but the profession itself changes too.
  • Technology is a means to an end. It can be a great tool for better journalism, but, in order to explore it, research, creativity and will are needed.
  • Journalism doesn’t exclusively belong anymore to its institutions and companies.
  • We are concerned about how traditional journalism companies struggle to find profitable business models. We want to help explore new paths.
  • For quality journalism to exist, journalists need appropriate legal and labour conditions.
  • We don’t know how journalism will be in the future, because we’re the ones that will reinvent it.

BCNMedialab has born

The BCNMedialab, a group of journalists that gathers regularly to debate around the media and communications sector, has just born. We think it´s time to open up the debate, add new ideas and seek solutions to the challenges journalism is facing.

We realized about the need to create a meeting point for journalists and those involved in communication, without companies or institutions behind. We want to reflect on the problems, challenges and development paths of our profession and we invite all of you who share similar interests and concerns.

Our starting point is a set of ideas about journalism that we have put together for discussion and can be summarized in one: Journalism should reinvent itself.

First meeting

We are glad to invite you to the first event on Thursday 21st October at 19.30in the Barcelona Bar 37 grados. We thought it was good to start the meetings of BCNMediaLab talking about an issue that is happening right now in many newsrooms: How should journalists work in online social networks? Do they act on their own behalf or on behalf of their employer? We have invited three people who we think can help steer a debate that we want to turn into an open conversation for all attendees.

After the debate we can have a beer together at 37 Grados and get to know each other. See you on Thursday 21st at 19.30. Please, sign in here.

Events

The objective of BCNMediaLab is to be a gathering of journalists and communication professionals with an interest to debate around the issues shaping the future of journalism and the impact of the Internet and new technologies, so we can create and maintain an open pool of ideas. We want to collectively reflect on the digital present and future, and help establish the basis for a more innovative market that could evolve and adapt to the new media context.

BCNMediaLab Events

BCNMedialab: the role of paperThe role of paper
February 24th 2011, 19:30, @ 37 Grados.
When organizing the third BCNMediaLab event we started asking ourselves: how will be the newspapers and magazines of the future? What will be their role in a news ecosystem dominated by real time, ubiquity and overload of information? Will they remain influential? Will they even be daily? Sign up here.

Journalists EntrepeneursJournalists-Entrepeneurs
December 21st 2010, 19:30, @ 37 Grados.
In the next BCNMediaLab we want to discuss an option that is increasingly popular among journalists, as a solution to the lack of job openings and poor working conditions: to become entrepeneurs. Four journalists will tell us their success stories and share their experiences with us. See the video.

Journalists and social networking
October 21st 2010, 19:30, @ 37 Grados.
In the first BCNMediaLab edition we wanted to analyze the cultural clash that happens with the presence of journalists in social networks interacting directly, without intermediation, with the rest of participants in the media process (sources, journalists, readers…). In this cultural clash, both journalists and companies have something to lose, and something to win. See the video.

Journalists and social networking

Date: October 21st
Time: 19:30h
Place: 37 Grados (Av. Roma / Comte Borrell)

How far can journalists go in their personal social network profiles? Are they representing themselves or their companies? How far can companies go to enforce their internal rules and guidelines?

Octavia Nasr was fired from CNN after publishing on Twitter a message praising a muslim cleric, founder of Hezbollah, after his death. Mike Wise, sports writer on the Washington Post, was suspended for a month after saying on his Twitter account that a football player was punished for 5 games instead of 6, as part of a experiment.

This and other instances evidence the cultural clash in newsrooms between old standards of (alleged?) objectivity and the new open channels of communication between journalists and audience, where objectivity isn’t as valued as trust and veracity.

In the first BCNMediaLab edition we want to analyze this cultural clash, in which both journalists and companies have something to lose, and something to win. To reflect on this topic, we have invited to chat with us (and you):

Our defining principles

  • Journalism is not dead, and it will never die.
  • It’s not about creating new journalism, but rethinking the basis of journalism itself. It’s about rebuilding.
  • Self criticism is necessary to recover credibility.
  • Journalism needs to regain its social function, its civic duty.
  • Technological change has disrupted the chain of production and its added value. Business models change, but the profession itself changes too.
  • Technology is a means to an end. It can be a great tool for better journalism, but, in order to explore it, research, creativity and will are needed.
  • Journalism doesn’t exclusively belong anymore to its institutions and companies.
  • We are concerned about how traditional journalism companies struggle to find profitable business models. We want to help explore new paths.
  • For quality journalism to exist, journalists need appropriate legal and labour conditions.
  • We don’t know how journalism will be in the future, because we’re the ones that will reinvent it.


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