Why we chose a different approach for Pitch Day

Nov 18 2014

Throughout this semester, my team and I have been working on the problem of how, in an age of media transformation, to continue providing critical information to small communities.

Our original model, Journalists for America, would place journalism school graduates in a news organization. They would contribute their skills, such as digital skills, to benefit the community organization. After realizing there was a viability issue with this model Рhow could we possibly pay for such a program? Рwe explored other options. This was what primarily led to a mixed model, which would allow these graduates to work in community organizations and also advise high school students in a journalism class. However, viability and feasibility were potential issues in this second model.

Pitch Day preparations
Last week, we faced one of the biggest decisions for Pitch Day. We had a team meeting to choose what model we would be presenting on Pitch Day. Should we present the news organization model? Should we explain the mixed model? Or should we pitch both models? After each team member provided her opinion of what to present on Pitch Day, we made our decision.

We came to the agreement that both models should be presented, but they should not be pitched yet. We were not ready to provide a full pitch for the programs since viability was a major challenge. Rather than pitching, we wanted to explain the research we have conducted this semester and share our findings. I am glad we chose this option for our Pitch Day presentation.

Over the past week, we have continued editing our pitch, which was mostly changed due to the decision to present our research findings instead of proposing a product. In our current pitch, we have included information such as our survey findings, the reactions from news organizations and students, a similar model that was proposed before, the reason why a program like this is needed, and an explanation for the models.

Looking forward
We know the importance of community journalism. It is important that we are looking forward and that we know that the models we presented still have the potential for viability. At the end of our pitch, we mentioned that the answer to viability could also be in another model that we have not examined yet. Reflecting back on the semester and the research that we have conducted, I am proud of the progress we have made and am interested to see how this project could change based on our findings during the semester.

Previously on America Media Corps:

Debates over direction are commonplace

Keys to prototype development: Researching and networking

With one foot firmly planted, my team pivots slightly

Embracing changes to your shiny new idea

IRB patience lends time to dig deeper

Two key strategies for the beginning stages of a prototype

Why IRB calls for specificity 

How might we meet the information needs of communities?


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