Demystifying the process of launching a news business

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The Google News Initiative Startups Playbook, published last year in close partnership with LION Publishers, was designed to help early-stage news entrepreneurs answer these questions and begin building their editorial, distribution, and financial operations.

“The Playbook helped us step back and really assess our market, our audience needs and our revenue plan,” McKisson told us. “When you’re building something from scratch, it’s so helpful to have a place to start or inspiration from other organizations you admire.”

Today, GNI and LION are introducing the second edition of the Startups Playbook, which has been built on feedback from many of its 17,000 readers to date. The first edition thoroughly outlined how to build and launch a digital news business, but it largely skipped the why. Why go independent? Why take on the risk of being an entrepreneur? To help would-be founders with these important decisions, we’ve added six founder profiles including the shared motivations that pulled them into news entrepreneurship.

We built the Startups Playbook primarily for aspiring news founders working on an idea, but we also heard from established publishers who said the Resources section was particularly useful. This section has been expanded to include an array of important documents, from business plans to media kits to founder agreements. Recognizing that the industry is in a constant state of change, we’ve also added best practices and case studies centered around the biggest challenges and opportunities facing independent publishers today.

With these updates in place, we hope that the Startups Playbook can continue to be useful to founders like Alicia Benjamin from North Carolina, who used it in founding The Charlotte Voice.

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