Sunday, April 27, 2014

Video: How Policymic is capturing millennials aims at millennials who are dissatisfied with traditional news outlets. It reaches 14.5 million unique users a month, according to Jake Horowitz, co-founder and editor-in-chief. 

 The site started 2 1/2 years ago, and “the goal all along has been to empower young people who want to be a part of the conversation around the news and feel that news outlets historically have done a poor job of appealing to our generation.” 

 “Young people want to read about serious topics, but they want to hear authentic voices. They’ve been lied to one too many times by politicians, they’ve been misled one too many times by news outlets.”

“Young people are not going to news sites. They’re going to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine. You have to reach young people where they’re having conversations."

And the different social networks require different presentations. "A Facebook story looks a lot different from a Twitter story, looks a lot different from a Pinterest story, looks a lot different than the home page of the New York Times."

 The site has attracted a little over $3 million in seed funding, Horowitz said, which has allowed them to focus on growth without having to worry for the moment about generating a profit.

More: Startups aimed at millennials thrive in three languages
Tres medios digitales exitosos que apuntan a la generación del milenio


Here is the man Felix Salmon will work with at
How three independent news startups survived their first five years
Mexican video-blogger builds a business out of political satire
Digital entrepreneurs turn to mobile for users, revenue
Power shifts toward journalists in new media equation
Who's a journalist? Only the public can decide
How to make money publishing community news online
7 mobile stats that should worry digital publishers
Journalists have to market their work in social media
News entrepreneur advises, 'Don't think about it -- do it'

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Here is the man Felix Salmon will work with at

The news about Felix Salmon's decision to leave Reuters and join threw a spotlight on this new digital venture of ABC and Univision. A few weeks ago I interviewed Fusion's chief of digital, mobile and social platforms, Daniel Eilemberg. He talked about the target audience of Fusion -- millennials --  and his other entrepreneurial venture, Animal Politico, in Mexico. This is an expanded version of the original.

Daniel Eilemberg, senior VP at Fusion
Daniel Eilemberg, founder of Animal Politico, is only 35 but has been an editor at several major business and news publications in the U.S. and Latin America. The Spanish language site began three years ago as a Twitter feed and thrives on being at the center of social conversations about the news. It employs 20 journalists to report news for a Mexican audience in a way that is both entertaining and informative.

Eilemberg has taken the lessons of Animal Politico with him to Univison’s In January he was appointed senior vice president, chief digital officer in charge of Fusion’s digital, mobile and social platforms.

"In Mexico, we cover topics about Mexico. In the U.S., we will cover global topics. In both places we are very focused on the audience of the millennials, the generation of 18 to 34 years old." 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ISOJ: 3 ways the journalism business is changing

Versión en español aquí. 

Three of the speakers at the International Symposium on Online Journalism changed the way I look at the business of journalism: Jim Moroney, CEO of A.H. Belo and publisher of the Dallas Morning News; Jim Bankoff, founder and CEO of Vox Media, and Valtteri Halla, chief technical officer at Leia Media in Finland.

Here is what got my attention. 

Targeting new generation of consumers

Jim Bankoff,  CEO of Vox Media, described a digital media world in which the future winners will be those with high-quality branded content. He is running against the current here. He has the old-fashioned idea that you need to pay competitive salaries to attract top digital-journalism talent, and that you can make money doing it.

Jim Bankoff of Vox Media. Photo by ISOJ.
While he sees the most popular news sites on the web as chasing page views with sensational headlines and clickbait --  Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, others -- his emphasis is on quality of audience rather than quantity. "Now is the time for branded content."

High-quality branded content is the strategy behind the seven media brands that make up Vox, including the SBNation sports site, The Verge's technology coverage and the new Ezra Klein product that focuses on general news, Vox

As a business model, it's working, Bankoff told the ISOJ audience. They are attracting "a new generation of news consumers" that has been turned off by traditional media. The audience is young, highly educated and has high income. Six of the seven brands are profitable, the exception being the newest one, Vox, which just launched with a staff of 20. 

The sites were drawing 79 million unique visitors a month at year-end 2013, and the business has  attracted $74 million in venture capital (thanks to Maite Fernandez for that research).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How 3 independent news sites have survived 5 years

Juanita Leon, founder of La Silla Vacia. ISOJ photo.

Versión en español aquí.

Launching a news publication online is the easy part.

Paying the bills and surviving for several years is the hard part.

Three of those who have evolved and survived for at least five years are La Silla Vacia, a political website in Colombia,  Homicide Watch, a news and data platform in three U.S. cities, and Texas Tribune, a news site focused on Texas civic life.

It often takes at least four iterations for a digital initiative to gain traction, according to Michael Maness, vice president of the Knight Foundation’s Journalism and Media Innovation program.

Maness moderated a panel in which the editors told their stories at the International Symposium on Online Journalism April 5 at the Knight Center for Digital Journalism in the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Startups aimed at millennials thrive in 3 languages

Joey Chung, co-founder of The News Lens
Versión en español aquí.

Some of the fastest growing digital media in Asia, Latin America and the U.S. are tapping into a young audience that wants news that is less partisan, more believable and sometimes irreverent.

Animal Politico in Mexico started out as a Twitter feed with an edge. News Lens in Taiwan was designed for people who distrust all traditional media. And PolicyMic in the U.S. is aimed at millennials who want to participate in a conversation around the news.

The founders told their stories April 4-5 at the International Symposium on Online Journalism at the Knight Center for Digital Journalism in the Americas in Austin, Texas.