Indy publishers and passion: It takes than love for journalism

The whole idea of the business mentoring work we’ve done with local independent publishers has been that having a coach makes a difference.

One my professional mentors told me once that we all need a lifeguard. Nobody can figure out how to do everything on her own. I can think of no place where that is more true than for the community publishers who are working on their own to build a piece of journalism’s future.

First in Super Camp and then later in the two Community Journalism Executive Training courses we’ve led, we seen the value of coaching to help publishers move to the next level in business development. And we’ve been rocked every time by the great coaches who’ve worked with us in the classes.

Joe Michaud has been a coach for all three of the business mentoring programs. Rusty calls Joe “the grownup in the room.’’ His common sense and practicality have helped ground every session.

Joe’s written about the New Jersey CJET session that we just completed this month on his blog. In his first point, he speaks to the common denominator for all these publishers: Passion.

“There’s no substitute for passion – for your local community,’’ Joe writes.  “Being passionate about journalism isn’t enough. In fact, in CJET we’ve seen a number of people who have no journalism background develop respected, popular, ethical – and hopefully sustainable – local news operations. The key is personal engagement: being in the community, of the community, speaking for the community’s concerns. You cannot fake this.’’

You can read Joe’s full post here.