The Lean Journalism Canvas

Think and act as entrepreneurs of their own career

The Lean Journalism Canvas is a tool to help journalists to develop a business model for their projects. The canvas helps them embrace changes, set up some strong conversational strategy, and handle the whole creative-business process as much as possible, from the ideas and early iterations, to the aftermath (selling it and backtracking it using comments and feedbacks).

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What's it about?

Inspired by the New News Process, Business Model Canvas, and the Lean Canvas, the Journalism Lean Model Canvas is designed to focus on a strong “Why?” and being “Lean.” It encourages an entrepreneurial state of mind among journalists so that good, meaningful questions are pitched and addressed early for viable, publish-worthy projects and solutions. The canvas focuses on the following key questions:

  1. Problem/Phenomena? 
  2. Impact Metrics/KPI?
  3. Value Proposition/Legitimacy?
  4. Storytelling Strategy/Project lifecycle?
  5. Stakeholders/Influencers/Lobbies?
  6. Content Packaging?
  7. Audience Segments/Core target?
  8. Cost Structure?
  9. Revenue Stream?

Who should use it

As the name suggests it is tailor made for journalists. Essentially, the Lean Journalism Canvas has been considered vital exercise by freelance journalists (and students in journalism) to raise funds for their projects, in particular using crowd fundraising.

Who made it?

Damien Van Achter

The Lean Journalism Canvas was created by Damien Van Achter, journalism professor who considers himself as a "mediacker"  and as "journalist entrepreneur". He's a teacher in IHECS (Communication and Journalism School) in Brussels (Belgium) and in Sciences-Po in Paris. He developed the Lean Journalism Canvas to meet the pedagogical need to teach students in journalism to be entrepreneurial, and to raise value and funds for their creative projects.

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