KSU launches national competition for business models to reinvent journalism
Winning Concept-2-Reality proposals address concerns about the industry’s future
(May 12, 2010) — Winning Concept-2-Reality proposals address concerns about the industry’s future
Kennesaw, Ga. (May 12, 2010) – Solutions to help journalism survive continuing erosion and maintain professional
standards and ethical practices emerged last week in the First National Sustainable
Journalism Concept-2-Reality© competition sponsored by the Center for Sustainable
Journalismat Kennesaw State University.
The competition, patterned after a successful and similarly named contest at KSU for
new business ventures, is designed to generate innovative, entrepreneurial ideas to
counter declines in the journalism industry’s markets, revenue, quality and credibility.
Taking first place and the $1,000 prize was a proposal from San Diego-based 4th Estate Mobile tocreate a proprietary content management system (CMS) platform that allows newspapers
to distribute content across multiple smart phone and mobile platforms.
The firm, headed byJesse Villanueva, the 20-year-old advertising director of San
Diego State University’s The Daily Aztec ,
was also judged best for startup feasibility, written summary, verbal presentation
and second best long-term market potential.
“Through our proprietary CMS, editors can easily upload content onto the application,
Villanueva said in an interview with Leonard Witt, executive director, Center for
Sustainable Journalism, Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair of Communication and
associate professor of Communication. “Thousands of publications will be provided
a new medium for disseminating news, as well as a new source of revenue, without the
significant time and costs of developing an application themselves. With Advibez,
our unique online portal, advertisers can instantly update their offerings directly
onto the applications that will provide a shared revenue source with the publications.”
Witt’s interview with Villanueva can be viewed at http://sustainablejournalism.org/weblog/post/2268/
In addition to short-term feasibility and long-term market potential, a panel of five
judges representing media, financial, legal and entrepreneurial organizations also
rated the entries’ journalistic impact and sustainability.
“Our finalists demonstrated clearly that America’s journalists are developing myriad
new ideas to enhance the future of American journalism,” said Charles Hofer, Regents
Professor of Entrepreneurship, founder of Kennesaw’s original Concept-2-Reality competition,
and co-founder of the Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality competition.
Among the other winning concepts in the 2010 competition were:
· Visual Talking™, a plan to provide rich journalistic content to the reader on demand through any electronic
device, captured second place and a $500 prize, and was judged to have the best long-term
market potential. Its goal is to give journalists a platform to easily send visually
driven stories to any reader across all digital media simultaneously. Journalists
log into Visualtalking.com and use a visual dictionary and visual library of templates to tell their story and
send it via a PC, cell phone, or TV. Visual Talking charges a small fee for sending and storing messages, which provides it the revenue
to become an up and coming media outlet of the future.
· Online Credibility & Ethics Seal,a registry with a pledge for blogs and web sites emphasizing that the site practices
and adheres to professional and ethical journalism standards. The business would be
self sustaining through a nominal annual registration fee.The Credibility & Ethics Seal business plantied for third place andwill receive a plaque recognizing its achievement.
· My Green ATL, also tying for third place, connects Atlanta residents who are socially conscious
about the environment with credible news and insight regarding the environment and
with information about environmentally conscious businesses and services so they can
learn about and engage in ‘green’ friendly practices and buy products and services
from ‘green’ friendly companies. Its goal is to become the region’s most comprehensive
environmental news and event listings site. My Green ATL will be funded with an affinity-based discount network that connects green consumers
to the products and services they want.
“We know there are many good ideas out there to help ensure that high quality, ethically
sound journalism will survive and continue to have a vibrant place in our democracy,” said Witt. “The Center is working on several fronts to bring forward the best minds
and ideas to achieve that goal.”
The Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw was established in 2009 with a $1.5
million grant from the Harnisch Foundation. For more information on the Center and
Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality competition, visit http://sustainablejournalism.org/weblog/post/2261/
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.