Describing it as “a powerful new case on the business of media,” the Columbia Journalism School announced that it will feature CCLP’s research work on the Long Beach Post as a new case study for use in its prestigious Knight Case Studies Initiative. The case study, The Jury is Out: The Long Beach Post and Online Local News, is authored by CCLP Executive-in-Residence Jeffrey S. Klein and Research Associate María J. Vázquez. The report is available for journalism educators and students throughout the country and will be used as a teaching resource on the future of online community news websites.
“Students can discuss the variety of challenges facing a news start-up and debate the merits of a for-profit business model,” wrote Kirsten Lundberg, Director of the Knight Case Studies Initiative, in the announcement of the case study. “They will gain insight into the realities of journalism entrepreneurship, the competition in local media markets, and the options for community outreach.”
Earlier this year, CCLP released “Online Community News: A Case Study in Long Beach, California — What It Takes to Survive and Thrive” by Klein and Vázquez. The study, which was updated and edited for the Knight Case Studies Initiative, is the first “contributed case” to be used by the national case study project.
Klein and Vazquez’s research tracks the progress of young entrepreneurs Shaun Lumachi and Robert Garcia in launching their new media website, LBPOST.com. When the Southern Californian journalists initially developed the new online community newspaper, they saw it as a “community service.” It was only after the web site was up and running that they realized it was also a business that had to generate sufficient revenue if it was to survive.
“The story of the Long Beach Post, a community news site that has survived for four years, can teach valuable lessons about the typical obstacles that entrepreneurs running these ventures face, what it takes to build a sustainable revenue model and what can be learned from the best practices of others trying to develop a sustainable business,” Klein and Vázquez write in the CCLP report.
Klein, a respected news executive and longtime USC Annenberg adjunct faculty member, has been invited to teach at Columbia Journalism School as a visiting professor during the Fall 2011 semester.
You can read the newly revised case study on the Knight Case Studies Intiative’s website.