Thoughts from our speakers: Rick Waghorn on entrepreneurialism and ‘journalist as network’

In the final two weeks before news:rewired we’ll be publishing some thoughts from our speakers on the subject of their session. Rick Waghorn originally took his individual ‘brand’ to market in the shape of a stand alone football journalism site. Having built a potential network model in the shape of, he launched three-click hyper-local advertising system

Rick’s session:

Branding and entrepreneurialism

  • How important is a brand to news organisations and can you teach a journalist to be entrepreneurial? What can journalists and communicators online learn from brands, start-ups and non-media businesses to make their work more successful?

With: Rory Brown, founder, Briefing Media; Alex Wood, digital consultant and founder, notonthewires; Rick Waghorn, founder, MyFootballWriter and Addiply; Molly Flatt, 1000heads

When I launched in the summer of 2006, I thought journalist as ‘brand’ would prove to be the answer to all our woes; now – wiser for the experience – I’d suggest that journalist as a ‘network’ was more important; hence, in part, why morphed into MyFootballWriter a summer later.

As for teaching journalists to be more entreprenuerial, I think that has to start before they ever set foot in a newspaper office. It should start at the J-Schools, but doesn’t. There’s a lot of talk about teaching ‘entreprenuerialism’ to the kids, but very little evidence of it happening … despite the fact that in something like Addiply, we have an ideal ‘tool’ to re-skill the next generation of web publishers and journalists.

If anyone would care to look at where took Josh Halliday this summer, perhaps they could start to ‘get’ the benefits of thinking outside the box; making your mark as an individual ‘brand’ and, above all, do-er.

Whether the incumbent organisations have the freedom of thought and action within their current structures to enable the likes of a Josh to demonstrate a *possible* way forward for us all remains a moot point; what was once our audience has long since gone. Whether we will ever catch up with them again is the challenge facing us all.

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