Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Pub Date: 2017
ISBN 13: 978-1-9890140-1-1
Publisher: Rebus Community
Conditions of Use
I found this text to be comprehensive, especially for use in undergraduate courses. I appreciate the many links within the text where students (or read more
I found this text to be comprehensive, especially for use in undergraduate courses. I appreciate the many links within the text where students (or the instructor) can learn more. Each chapter has a linked list of related resources at the end. In one chapter I accidently clicked on a graphic (the empathy map) that had no indication of being linked to anything, and it opened to a website where the graphic was sourced which discussed the concept in further detail.
This text is well-researched, well-documented and as far as I can tell, unbiased.
This text was created in 2017 and the material within is current. For instance, Pew Research on mobile usage from 2017 is quoted, and Facebook’s advertising revenue is reported from the second quarter of 2017. There are many such stats and figures in this text. In terms of longevity, the media landscape is always changing but I would feel comfortable adopting this text and planning to use it for a few years, at least, as is. The beauty of open-texts is that updating can be done quickly and relatively easily.
Jargon used is defined, such as MVP (minimum viable product). Key terms used, such as “business model,” are also defined. As each chapter has a different author, brevity and accessibility rises and falls to some degree, but overall I found the writing clear.
Each chapter has a different author and some write in a first-person conversational tone while some sound more “academic” or “professional.” This did not bother me, but it is noticeable and could be addressed. I did not notice inconsistency among the authors. Consistency is maintained through the organization and framework of the book. Every chapter has the same components: a summary of the chapter upfront, list of learning objectives, list of related resources to explore at the end, an exercise to apply, end notes, additional supplemental materials, and a “look ahead” at what’s coming up next.
The text has sub-headings and the occasional pull-quote or bolded point, which help make it easily readable and “skimmable.” Chapters also contain color, graphics or photos to break up and enhance the text. The text as a whole is designed to move the student systematically or “chronologically” through the stages of media-based entrepreneurship: from ideation, on to prototyping, and on to securing funding. Nonetheless, the information can be used as individual, standalone modules.
The big-picture flow of this text is logical and the chapters are clearly organized. Each chapter starts with a short summary of the main point, a list of learning objectives, and a mini table of contents (minus page numbers). Each chapter ends with a list of related resources, end notes for cites within the chapter, additional supplemental material such as interviews, and a prompt or tease for what’s coming in the next chapter. What's in-between the structured chapter beginnings and endings can vary with the different authors, as well as the supplemental materials at chapter ends. These chapters are not "cookie-cutter" in their uniformity but they do not lack discernible structure.
I read this book as a PDF download and had no issues with that interface.
For a multi-author, open, first-edition textbook, grammatical errors were quite minimal.
While diversity did not necessarily strike me as a prominent “goal” of this text, this text contains examples and input from a variety of genders and backgrounds.
I teach communication courses within a communication studies department and entrepreneurship courses within a business school. This text brings those two fields together in a well-researched, applicable way many students will appreciate. I would not hesitate to use it in my courses.
I enjoyed this textbook for its comprehensiveness. It covers elements you wouldn't normally expect to see outside of a business textbook, but it does read more
I enjoyed this textbook for its comprehensiveness. It covers elements you wouldn't normally expect to see outside of a business textbook, but it does it with a focus on the media. This is lacking in most media entrepreneurship texts. The examples the authors and editors chose all related directly to media. I could see students understanding and emulating most of the examples.
The text did a exceptional job documenting its sources with hyperlinks and endnotes. It references scholarly work and industry reports. It was careful to attribute all of its charts and graphs and provide accompanying links. I also appreciated that it tried to contact the original sources of the information it used as much as possible. The chapter from Batsell on the Texas Tribune was an excellent inclusion because it's well known that he spent nearly a year researching and performing an ethnography at the organization.
With a topic such as media entrepreneurship, it's difficult to predict relevance and longevity. The industry changes frequently as the pace of technology accelerates. However, I really appreciated how up to date the book was. In many instances, it seems as it the editors updated information with the most current data possible. I loved seeing all the 2017 citations. I think the authors and editors also tried to ensure the people the text featured as experts were people with staying power. Amy Webb, for example, was quoted several times, and she has established herself as a forward thinking media expert who annually addresses larger and larger crowds at the Online News Association conference and several others. I also appreciate that many of the cited authors and examples featured diverse voices and backgrounds.
For the most part, I think this text will be pretty straightforward and easy to understand for college students. I can see how each author at times tries to have a more conversational tone. I liked those touches a lot. However, there were times when I thought I was reading an academic journal article. Some writers relied too much on academic literature and this gave them an authoritative tone, which I think might be off putting for students. I would have also liked to see more industry sources in some chapters.
The editors did a good job keeping the different authors of each chapter consistent, but I think with any book that has multiple authors consistency can be challenge. I would have liked to see the editors enforce a more consistent organization style and more focus on voice and industry sources so some of the chapters wouldn't seem as dry and academic.
The book said at the beginning that it could easily be divided up into sections, and I think it fulfilled this promise well. When reading the book from cover to cover, I found it redundant at times, but I think this was in service to modularity. In the end, I appreciated that because I could see myself using chapter for classes other than media entrepreneurship. The Batsell chapter, for example, could be easily used as a case study in a media business class or even an ethics class.
The chapters themselves are organized in a clear and logical fashion. The book does a good job walking you through the process and all the important decisions an entrepreneur must make. Some of the chapters, however, could be organized better. I found some redundancies in them, and I felt like many could be much shorter. Some spent too much time discussing background information before really getting to the heart of what an entrepreneur can and should do.
I read the book on the Amazon Kindle and I thought the text seemed too large and spaced out. I loved that you could click on the links or go to the comment section on each chapter at the end, but it was difficult to find my place in the book again after that. I also wished you could have enlarged some of the images and charts to make them easier to read. I loved the inclusion of all the charts and links. I also loved the sidebars, but I thought their interface could have been a bit better. The green background on my Kindle helped set them apart, but the text touched the edges of the boxes too much and made it hard to read. I also wish the comment forms were embedded in the textbook. That would have made it easier to comment. I don't know enough about creating ePubs to know how difficult that is to do or if it is even possible. I also thought about commenting several times, but I didn't quite understand the process. I know with Kindle books I read I can just highlight a passage and leave a comment that other readers of the book can see. This text made it seem like I had to create an account on another server, and frankly, I was too lazy to do that.
One of the things I wanted to comment on were minor grammatical errors sprinkled throughout the text. I think the book seemed a bit rushed at times. I appreciated the editors' comments at the beginning that this was version 1.0 so I can accept some typos. I would hope a lot of these would be fixed in version 2.0. I might just be a stickler for these things as a journalism professor as well. Maybe students wouldn't notice them as much. None of the errors are particularly egregious.
As I said before, I loved that many of the example featured people from diverse backgrounds and in diverse industries. I think that added to the cultural relevance of this text immeasurably. I also think the text did a good job at the beginning justifying with statistics and expert opinions why more journalists will have to strike out on their own as the media landscape adapts and changes. I think that adds to the cultural relevance of this text as well. While I loved that this text focused on entrepreneurship in the media industry, I don't think that only media professionals will get something from this text. I think it does a good job establishing how to build an idea into a sustainable business regardless of the idea. Not all of the examples are strictly media companies either. It was great to hear from the student who is starting a music-based service. I think this adds to the book's cultural relevance as well.
It is so appropriate that a text on media entrepreneurship is offered under a creative commons license. I'm grateful to the editors and the Rebus Foundation for making this happen. If we want to train students to be entrepreneurial within the increasingly open media environment, we need to follow our own advice. I think this text does that.
The text definitely covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately. I am particularly impressed with the attention to detail and read more
The text definitely covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately. I am particularly impressed with the attention to detail and consideration for the future of entrepreneurship in media. However, the glossary seems to be a bit overlooked and I'm sure could/should include many more terms or industry jargon that would be useful for students.
This text seems to be well-researched, accurate, and written without any particular bias.
Although the text is up-to-date as of this minute there will no doubt be changes in the landscape that will necessitate either additional changes or complete overhauls to particular sections. Thankfully, most of the text is written and presented in a manner that will make these necessary changes relatively easy to implement.
Though long-winded at times, overall this text is accessible to even the most passive student. I find that it holds back on some of the technical and industry jargon that may be beneficial for students interested in internships and professional work, but the concepts and ideas are all there.
Terminology and structure are consistent throughout the text and make for a logical progression through relevant course material.
The text is divided into easily comprehensible sections that can not only be used for specific sections of a course, but can be easily digested and better understood by students.
Each topic of the text is presented in a logical order and serves a purpose. It is important to note that the text focuses on only modern ideas of media entrepreneurship and analytics and does not cover any material related to traditional audience analysis.
Navigating this particular text is exceptionally easy and is conducive to the best possible learning experience.
After analyzing the entire text I have found no major errors or inconsistencies in grammar.
I realize that this must be a touchy subject but I have no reason to believe that the text's relatively limited cultural perspective should have any influence on the quality of the information it provides. The text aims to present information in a certain context without regard for general cultural situations, and it accomplishes this.
Table of Contents
Preface from the Editors
Developing the Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Developing the Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Taking Risks and Building Resilience on the Path to Innovation
- From the Field: Q&A With a Young Innovator
- What’s an Intrapreneur? And How Do I Become One?
- Looking Ahead
- Looking Ahead
- Customer Discovery for Content and Tech Startups
- Looking Ahead
Business Models for Content & Technology Ventures
- Business Models for Content and Technology Plays
- From the Field: Refining Our Business Plan Was the Key to Attracting Our First Investor
- From the Field: Writing a Business Plan & Budget
Nonprofit Model Development
- Nonprofit Model Development
- From the Field: The Knoxville Experiment
- Exercise: Being a Media Nonprofit
Freelancing as Entrepreneurship and Consulting as Business Models
- Freelancing as Entrepreneurship and Consulting as Business Models
- From the Field: How to Get and Keep Gigs as a Freelance Journalist
- From the Field: How I Ditched the 9 to 5 and Built a Business I Could Live With
- Looking Ahead
- Startup Funding: Introduction
- Startup Funding: Why Funding
- Startup Funding: Traditional Venture Funding
- Startup Funding: Nontraditional Funding Sources
- Startup Funding: Crowdfunding
- From the Field: Friends, Family and Fools Funding
- From the Field: The Journey from Listening to Leader
- From the Field: Your Kickstarter Campaign is a Story
- Looking Ahead
- Pitching Ideas
- From the Field: The Perfect Pitch
- Looking Ahead
Marketing Your Venture to Audiences
- Marketing Your Venture to Audiences
- Marketing Your Venture: Engagement and Analytics
- Looking Ahead
Entrepreneurship Abroad: Cultural and International Perspectives and Challenges
- Entrepreneurship Abroad: Cultural and International Perspectives and Challenges
- From the Field: A Short History of Silicon Valley
About the Authors
License & Remixing Information
Help to Expand This Book!
For Beta Testers
About the Book
This is the first edition of a modular open textbook designed for entrepreneurial journalism, media innovation, and related courses. This book has been undergoing student and faculty testing and open review in fall 2017. Feedback has been implemented in Version 1.0 and will continue to be implemented in Version 2.0 (ETA spring 2018). An accompanying handbook will include additional activities, ancillary materials and faculty resources on media innovation for instructors.
About the Contributors
Dr. Michelle Ferrier is an associate professor in the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina. She is the founder and publisher of LocallyGrownNews.com, a site dedicated to good, local food.
Elizabeth Mays is an intrapreneur and marketer for lean organizations and small businesses and an adjunct professor teaching entrepreneurial journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Her areas of expertise include Web and marketing strategy, content marketing and editorial oversight, Web project management and an understanding of SEO and analytics.