Two interesting idea-bombs via Jay Rosen:

To my eye, one of the more interesting new-model ideas popped up at this summer’s meeting of investigative reporting nonprofits outside New York. The idea, mentioned by two participants, was to set up a separate unit that would do contract or customized research for paying clients. Revenue generated would supply one piece of the business-model formula that would pay for the core investigative reporting business.

The concept seemed both promising and potentially ethically tricky, but in any case it seemed like a fresh approach. Fresh, anyway, till I discovered that the owners of the Economist have been doing this since 1946 through the Economist Intelligent Unit. These days the EIU, with more than 40 offices worldwide, sells country analyses in 200 markets, provides custom research and presentations for executives, convenes conferences on both government and business topics, and more. It calls itself the “world’s pre-eminent global research and advisory firm.” If that’s true, it’s obviously a business that’s bringing in tens of millions of dollars annually in revenue.

Online Journalism Review: Research for hire: A revenue model for the news?


Common Craft, a professional “explainer” service:

Common Craft is a small company owned by Lee and Sachi LeFever in Seattle, Washington, USA. The company was founded by Lee in 2003 as an online community consulting company. We started making videos in 2007 with our first video: RSS in Plain English. Since then, we’ve published two kinds of videos:

1. Educational Videos – Videos we create to sell on this website (our current focus)
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Combined, we’ve created over 30 videos that have been viewed over 10 million times online. Our current focus is building a library of educational videos that help educators save time. If you’re in need of a custom video, please contact us or visit our Explainer Network to find talented producers.

Rosen indicates they are very busy.