[Unconference Session] All Abuzz: Making Mediapreneurs

Pitch by Jan Schaffer & Amy Eisman

Entrepreneurship courses are elbowing their way into J-School curricula. What are the basic elements of a single course or an entire degree program? What are the merits of teaching working professionals vs. undergrads – and how do you market to those professionals? What are the opportunities in the encore entrepreneur market? How are students defining “media”? What should students expect to accomplish in a course or in a degree program? Can these programs break down silos within the university and where are the fault lines?

Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab, and Amy Eisman, director of Media Entrepreneurship, launched American University’s MA in Media Entrepreneurship degree in 2012. We lead a discussion in this unconference session and we invite ONA’s journalism educators and early adopters to share strategies and the lessons learned.

Jan Schaffer runs J-Lab, a catalyst for news ideas and an incubator for news entrepreneurs and innovators. A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, she left daily journalism to lead pioneering journalism initiatives in civic journalism, interactive and participatory journalism and citizen media ventures.

Amy Eisman is director of American University’s MA in Media Entrepreneurship and of the 13-year-old weekend MA in Interactive Journalism. She was an editor with Gannett for 17 years, first as a cover story editor at USA TODAY and later as Executive Editor of USA WEEKEND.