Our class presented their pitches for their very own independent media outlet last week, and I was really impressed with everyone’s work. I think that my favorite pitches were the ones that reflected a real passion and understanding of the content. With many of the pitches, I fully believed that these students were experts—or, at the very least, working toward “expert” status—on the subject that they chose to write about. My favorite pitches reflected fresh ideas and plausible concepts that I think have a great chance of working in today’s society.

Christine Loman’s pitch for The Bottom Line was one of the strongest in the class. Her outlet, a website/blog would really make finance and business news more approachable, and she had a great point: this is some of the most important information out there, and so few people adequately understand it, including me. The “issues” pages sound brilliant, describing in readable detail large, overarching finance stories like the road to international debt and the recent economic meltdown. Partnering with Kiva, RetailMeNot and other financial services and sources is a great idea. And knowing Christine’s background, I’d trust the information coming from her publication.

And while I have almost zero interest in sports, especially fantasy sports, I think that Kellan Davidson’s “Fan ‘Dangle” blog is really viable. Fantasy sports is a hugely untapped market in terms of journalism, and, judging from my dad, brother, and most of the other men in my family, the game takes up an enormous amount of time. They’d jump at the opportunity to spend more time reading up on fantasy sports news. I hate the idea of someone having a monopoly on the news, and if Andrew Berry’s Roto World really does have as big of a monopoly as Kellan says, it’d be nice to take him down with a more independent publication.

Kaydi Poirier’s pitch for Oyster.com, where "the world is your oyster," also really appealed to me. Today, the main way that students decide on where to study abroad is by doing what their friends have done or by reading about locations and programs on websites for study abroad companies, like IES Abroad. But these companies are in the business of making every place in the world appealing to as many students as possible, so a more independent source is necessary for diversifying the field. I liked Kaydi’s “budget calculator” idea to help out students who’ve written off studying abroad because of money. And there’s always a new audience—which is a good thing, so that readers don’t get bored, but also could present a challenge because the team would have to constantly be marketing itself to new students. And this is probably one of the best uses of pre-existing content: 1 in 5 students is already studying abroad, so why wouldn’t they want their content displayed on a larger scale?

Everyone’s pitches were enjoyable and well thought-out. Clearly, all of the students learned a lot by reading about and discussing a wide array of indy media outlets.


Leave a Reply.