Ohio University

Ohio University professor leads open textbook project on media innovation & entrepreneurship

Ohio University professor leads open textbook project on media innovation & entrepreneurship
Published: November 16, 2017 Author: Staff reports


An Ohio University professor led faculty from multiple universities in a collaborative project to build a new, open textbook on media innovation and entrepreneurship.

In a time of disruption and experimentation in journalism and media, the new open textbook Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship fills a gap in the literature, providing journalism and mass communication students with an understanding of the changing media ecosystem and how they might innovate within it.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier, associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, instigated the open textbook project and served as its lead editor. She was joined by co-editor Elizabeth Mays, of the Rebus Community, which provided project support for the open textbook. Mays is also an instructor at Arizona State University.

The volume includes contributions from more than 20 authors, educators, entrepreneurs and student founders, which help explain the business venture creation process specifically within the media landscape.

“More than 20 authors, 12 official beta testers, 10 peer reviewers and 12 open reviewers came together from the community of practice teaching media innovation, journalism entrepreneurship and business of journalism to build this modular resource that can be used to infuse entrepreneurship into journalism classes around the world,” said Mays. “Almost 40 more professors have expressed interest in considering the new textbook for use in their classrooms.”

Educators teaching media entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial journalism have consistently cited a lack of teaching resources from which they could walk their students through the startup process from ideation to financing.

The open textbook includes chapters on business models for content businesses, nonprofit models for journalism ventures, ideation, customer discovery, freelancing, funding, pitching ideas and media entrepreneurship abroad, topics that were suggested by faculty who teach media business, innovation and entrepreneurship topics.

“We used a highly collaborative process to create this crowd-powered volume,” Ferrier said. “In addition to a traditional review process, we beta-tested the draft textbook this fall with educators around the world, providing tools like hypothesis that allow for direct feedback from both educators and their students. We incorporated hundreds of suggestions from faculty, and most important, students, into the first edition that will be released for spring course use.”

“We also held bimonthly coaching calls with the community of practice teaching media innovation and entrepreneurship to provide another layer of open review for each chapter.”

Ferrier has conducted seminal research in media innovation that has helped build curriculum in this area and has worked with journalism educators through the Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute to create media entrepreneurship courses in journalism programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. At ASU, Mays helped organize the initial Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute faculty workshops. She has previously taught business and future of journalism, and now teaches courses in audience acquisition.

The book is available for free in digital formats for students. Published under the CC BY attribution license, the book can be freely remixed, reused and rewritten by educators. It is available on Amazon for print-on-demand purchase. To read the book for free in various formats, visit https://press.rebus.community/media-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/.

The Rebus Community for Open Textbook Creation provided extensive support for the open textbook project. Rebus is building a new, collaborative model for creating and sustaining open textbooks and welcomes collaborators at forum.rebus.community.

Version two of Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship is already in the works, along with an instructor companion workbook. To join either project, contact Michelle Ferrier at ferrierm@ohio.edu or indicate your interest in the project in the Rebus Community Forum