The NewStart program at West Virginia University identifies and trains the next generation of media entrepreneurs so they can purchase existing community newspapers or other media outlets and transform their business models to ensure long-term viability so news deserts do not expand across the country.
We are currently recruiting for our next cohort of students and are offering an information session to learn more about what our program has to offer.
Why may current owners and publishers be interested? Good question. Here’s why:
- Current owners may be near retirement age, but do not have a succession plan. Students in our program may be interested in purchasing their publications.
- Current owners may want to pass ownership on to someone within their business. Having that person go through our program could be very beneficial.
- Current owners may have a rising star within their newsroom. They may want to invest in training for that person, who can bring new revenue and content ideas back to improve the bottom line.
And here are a few facts about our program:
- We offer a one-year, accelerated master’s degree program in Media Solutions and Innovation.
- We are expanding this year by also offering a certificate program, which would be a great option for existing employee training opportunities.
- It is totally remote, so anyone can learn from anywhere.
“For me, the highlight of being involved with newspapering every step of the way has been meeting and collaborating with interesting people that care deeply about the future of newspapers and journalism. After years of doing that within Iowa, NewStart was a chance to do it on a national scale, from home, while still working fulltime in Iowa Falls. I applied to NewStart for the opportunity to earn a fellowship and an advanced degree I never imagined I wanted. I got that, but I also came away with an incredible network of like-minded newspaper folks who continue to share their insight with me long after my classes have ended.
I’d love to talk to anyone in Iowa that’s considering applying for NewStart because I know Iowa is one of the best community journalism states in the country.”
-Tony Baranowski, Iowa Falls Times Citizen
About the presenter:
Jim Iovino is the Ogden Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation at West Virginia University. He is leading the NewStart Newspaper Ownership Initiative — a program that is focusing on recruiting, training and supporting the next generation of community newspaper owners and publishers across the country.
Prior to joining WVU, Iovino was deputy managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its Tree of Life massacre coverage. Iovino managed all digital editorial initiatives at the Post-Gazette, including driving audience-first and digital subscription efforts via the Table Stakes program. During his time in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette also won Newspaper of the Year honors from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, was nominated for two Online Journalism Awards, won an EPPY Spotlight Award for “outstanding achievement for undertaking an ambitious project that enriched a community” and was nominated for five additional EPPY Awards.