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Digital Journalists Head to Boot Camp

Digital Journalists Head to Boot Camp
The inaugural class of News Entrepreneur fellows will hone their entrepreneurial skills to develop and launch innovative news and information services.

Fifteen digital journalists from 10 states have been selected for the inaugural class of the Knight Digital Media Center’s News Entrepreneur Boot Camp.

Through an intense week of training in audience development, market research, legal issues, entrepreneurial decision-making and business practices and management, the program will prepare journalists to develop and launch new and sustainable news and information services in the public’s interest.

The News Entrepreneur Boot Camp will be in Los Angeles in May 2009 and is presented in partnership with the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC’s Marshall School of Business, the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and USC Annenberg’s Online Journalism Review.

“This boot camp is part of the Knight Digital Media Center’s commitment to ensuring that good journalism and good journalists survive in this critical period of downsizing and changing information models,” explained KDMC director Vikki Porter. “With the partnership of the Greif Center’s Tom O’Malia, we are focused on bringing entrepreneurial skills to journalists who have great ideas for developing online news projects but who don’t know much about starting a business.”

Tom O’Malia, director of the Greif Center, said, “In today’s digital economy, positions that were once inside a ‘company’ are rapidly disappearing. Journalists today need to assume the responsibility for being the presidents of ‘You, Inc.,’ which requires both good journalism and good business practices.

“This is the new frontier and it is ripe with opportunity for those with a vision and the business skill sets to drive their vision,” he continued. “The Greif Center at USC is excited by what will evolve as a result of this camp.”

The inaugural class of News Entrepreneur fellows includes:

– Ericka Boston, Takoma Park, Md. Senior editor, Sister 2 Sister magazine.
– Chad Capellman, Quincy, Mass. Independent web producer and former editor and producer, America Online and
– Tim Collie, Boca Raton, Fla. Former senior writer, South Florida Sun Sentinel.
– Celeste Fraser Delgado, Miami, Fla. Editor, and former staff writer and music editor, Miami New Times.
– Rita Hibbard, Edmonds, Wash. Assistant managing editor, Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
– Jeremy Iggers, Minneapolis, Minn. Executive director, Twin Cities Media Alliance and former staff writer, Detroit Free Press.
– Adam Klawonn, Phoenix, Ariz. Managing editor, PHOENIX magazine and editor/publisher Former reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune and Arizona Republic.
– Martin Langeveld, Vernon, Vt. Independent blogger and former publisher, North Adams (Mass.) Transcript and Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer.
– Michael McCarthy, Seattle, Wash. Editor, and former North American Editor, The Lancet.
– Pamela Moreland, San Jose, Calif. Former assistant managing editor, San Jose Mercury News.
– Wendy Norris, Denver, Colo. Managing editor/reporter,
– Julia Scott, Santa Monica, Calif. Chief blogger and CEO, and former reporter, Los Angeles Daily News and Newark Star-Ledger.
– Nancy Shute, Bethesda, Md. Contributing editor, US News & World Report.
– Arian Smedley, New York, N.Y. Editor, Associated Press Mobile News Network.
– Lynn Walford, Pasadena, Calif. Executive editor, Wireless and Mobile News. Former technology feature writer, Investor’s Business Daily.

Porter will direct the News Entrepreneur Boot Camp program faculty, which includes Robert Niles, editor of the KDMC’s OJR Blog; Tom O’Malia, holder of the Orfalea Director’s Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business; Geneva Overholser, director of USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism; Mary Lou Fulton, vice president for audience development at the Bakersfield Californian and KDMC board member; Ken Doctor, media consultant and digital pioneer; Susan Mernit, CEO of Peoples Software Co., consultant and former Yahoo! executive; Dan Gillmor, director, Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; and Vin Crosbie, adjunct professor and senior consultant on new media at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

In addition, the boot camp will feature case studies presented by entrepreneurial journalists and others who are branding themselves in the new news ecology.

More than 120 applications for the fellowship were received from journalists from around the country and from a variety of media backgrounds.

The KDMC is a partnership of USC Annenberg and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

For more information about the program, visit

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