Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked


December 10, 2009

No Answers, Just a Thousand Experiments

Matt Sollars of CUNY's New Business Models for News programs won't project the future, but he may help shape it.

Max Lakin

The business of news is, to say the very least, in transition. Matt Sollars doesn't claim to have the answers; he doesn't care to ballpark when things are going to get better; he won't even promise that we're close. He does, however, offer a surfeit of ideas. And right now, that's the only thing we have.

At the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism's New Business Models for News project, helmed by new media soothsayer Jeff Jarvis, Sollars helped develop experimental business models, exploring sustainable advertising, manipulating probable revenue streams, and heavily weighing a shift to a non-profit existence.

Matt Sollars
"Journalists need more training—no question about that. They need to learn how to manage a business, establish a news organization...even help with social media."

Matt Sollars

Gelf spoke with Sollars about the benefits of non-profit systems, the plight of hyperlocal, and why the debate between paid and free models probably should incorporate a Third Way. The following interview was conducted by phone and e-mail, and is edited for clarity.

Gelf Magazine: Where does your interest in non-profit journalism stem from?

Max Lakin

Max Lakin is a writer and journalist based in New York.

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Article by Max Lakin

Max Lakin is a writer and journalist based in New York.

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