More than a fancy class at the university, it is the call of action of the day to preserve journalism independent
"Entrepreneurial Journalism" is now a glamorous subject in some Schools of Journalism across the country, among them the prestigious City University of New York (CUNY), which even established the now prestigious Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and turned into a Graduate Program.
Since jobs in newsrooms continue to evaporate at a "brutal" rate, according to the Columbia Journalism Review's recent article, and there is an unspoken unemployment crisis in what Gabriel Garcia Márquez called the "most beautiful profession in the world," with more tan 10,000 jobs lost over the past 10 years, “Entrepreneurial Journalism has been offered as a solution,” says Duke University's South Atlantic Quarterly.
“Entrepreneurial Journalism” in an academic environment “remains unclear,” though —the Quarterly indicates— and such new “discourse promotes a notion of the enterprising individual journalist forging a career for (himself or) herself through practices of self-branding and self-employment and learning to be adaptable, flexible, and (above all) self-sufficient.”
Sounds like a perfect prescription for a Hispanic journalist 25 years ago when yours truly arrived to Philadelphia in search of a job.
I had to be adaptable enough, for example, to settle for distributing papers, instead of writing for them
I had to be adaptable enough, for example, to settle for distributing papers, instead of writing for them; flexible enough to hold more than one job unrelated to Journalism to make ends meet; and self-sufficient, when, armed with a single computer, I decided to be not only the writer, but also the editor, and the photographer, and the delivery man, plus the publisher of my own publication, this one I continue to write on 25 years later.
This school of hard knocks gave me somehow "the PhD" on this new academic subject, then just a street-smart skill I was forced to develop to survive in my new city.
I thought this self-inflicted boot-camp training that lasted years may have prepared me well enough to teach “Entrepreneurial Journalism” myself to others.
So I decided to start my first formal training last week, sharing with 6 candidates what has been mostly my personal experience of making journalism a vital endeavor, and ultimately a life time mission, one you ought to love so much to go the whole 9 yards digging the resources to fund it from the coarse marketplace.
“It is like teaching others how fish”, I told recently David Boardman, the Dean of the School of Media and Communications at Temple University. Instead of just succumbing to the temptation to give fish to the hungry, one at a time, when somebody ask for it.
Dean Boardman is a friend, and also the enlightened Chairman of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the local Foundation in Philadelphia searching for answers for our own local crisis in journalism through a “Diversity Summit” hosted last week at the Asian Arts Initiative and AL DÍA News Media was honored to be invited to.