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Startups possess great potential to improve journalism. In theory, they can be the sites where new products, novel revenue streams and altered ways of organizing are discovered, tested and accelerated. However, the situation in Europe seems to be complicated. In comparison to the United States, there is a distinct lack of new venture success stories.
Why is it so unlikely that the next big innovation in journalism will come from Europe? What are the barriers that curb innovative capacity? In this article, I document specific challenges and common pitfalls that I gleaned from researching news startups in Germany.*
“The greater the financial pressure, however, the more difficult it is for them to remain true to their own standards.”
1. Founders underestimate tasks and workload.
Starting a company in journalism means far greater and more diverse work than being a freelance journalist. Founders who assume that owning a business opens up new freedom for journalistic work clearly underestimate the effort involved. Administration, marketing, audience development, technology management, revenue model development – activities formerly undertaken by publishing houses – are now the responsibility of the founders. One entrepreneur interviewed in the study – a former journalist – complained: “Please give us…publishing staff! Now we learned what publishers do and how they give us journalists the support we need.” Many of these non-journalistic activities are necessary even if rapid growth, high profits or a profitable “exit” from
Read more here: http://mediashift.org/2018/04/7-reasons-news-startups-fail/