KSU launches national competition for business models to reinvent journalism

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Winning Concept-2-Reality proposals address concerns about the industry’s future  …

Georgia (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 the National Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality competition, visit http://sustainablejournalism.org/weblog/post/2261/
Contact: Sabbaye McGriff, 678-797-2550 or smcgrif1@kennesaw.edu


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. 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