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In their effort to modernize Hearst Corp.'s media assets, executives need only look to their headquarters for inspiration. A fixture of the Manhattan skyline since 2006, the striking, triangular-framed glass tower sits on top of a small, stone building commissioned by William Randolph Hearst 83 years ago.

It serves as a constant reminder for one of the oldest media companies, which is increasingly leaning on the bold and innovative efforts of the start-up ecosystem to overhaul its newspapers, magazines, local television and radio stations for the new digital age.

Continue reading on Venture Capital Dispatch


Anton Jolkovski


2011-07-11 11:02

The value proposition of new news businesses shouldn't be about saving journalism; rather, they need to focus on meeting consumers' needs and wants, and finding solutions, Mark Briggs, author of "Journalism 2.0" and "Journalism Next," told Missouri School of Journalism's David Cohn.

Entrepreneurs need "to focus on what the consumer needs - what pain are you solving - that's a real Silicon Valley kind of concept, and you see a lot of journalism start-ups that are really about trying to recreate the old jobs that journalists had. That's great, if it would work, but that's not the fantasy world we live in. We live in a world where businesses happen because consumers want something, and so you need to focus on what consumes want. What kind of solution can I bring that will solve this pain?" explained Briggs, who is also working on an upcoming book about entrepreneurial journalism.

Hybrid business models have to begin with a focus on what the business is really about, he added.

"In Silicon Valley, failure is ok; experimentation and risk is great," he pointed out. Those qualities weren't encouraged in journalism in the past, but they are the qualities that need to be embraced today, he said.

For the full video, visit Cohn's blog at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-11-15 22:20

Having recently crossed the 3 million mark on August 29, location-based startup Foursquare has processed its 4 millionth user registration today, according to a report by the company.

Despite the previous service problems faced by Foursquare earlier this year, the company is now adding close to 20,000 users per day, up significantly from the estimated 15,500 per day rate when it crossed the 3 million mark, reported. "Foursquare's impressive growth can be attributed to a number of things, most notably the release of version 2.0 for iPhone and Android (Android), a Symbian release and celebrity attention from the likes of Conan O'Brien and hip-hop artist Big Boi," Mashable's Jennifer Van Grove explained.

Among other factors that contribute to rapid growth of the startup has been increasing awareness among users in cities around the world and college campuses, along with mentions in mainstream media such as MTV's VMA Awards, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and People magazine, the company noted. Having recently introduced Facebook Places in mid-August, the company has been seeing a very positive growth rate.

The company has lately been battling competition from Gowalla with around 450,000 users in the beginning of September and figures from adoption of Facebook Places is yet to be revealed, according to


Savita Sauvin


2010-10-19 19:06

An article by David Cohn on, analysed six new "journalism startups". The startups were, Storyful, the Local:East Village,, Ebyline and

Kommons was started by Cody Brown, who, with a co-founder, taught himself how to code and "iterated like mad," states Cohn. He compares Kommons to or and to be part of the site, the person using it has to be asked a question. Brown is also trying to steer the main idea of the site away from "journalism," Cohn said. "Brown is avoiding 'journalism' baggage while still providing a community with tools that can serve its news and information needs. As I've said before, we may not call it 'journalism' in the future, but if it still meets the news and information needs of a community, more power to it," Cohn adds.

For more on this story, visit our sister publication,


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-09-22 17:09

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