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Contrasting entrepreneurship and reporting


This lesson builds on the previous introduction to the concept of entrepreneurship and how it applies to journalism with particular attention to examples and non-examples of entrepreneurship in journalism, excluding production activities. Students will also investigate one aspect of entrepreneurship and report on it to their classmates.


  • Students will identify and analyze examples and non-examples of entrepreneurship, both on paper and orally in class, including public relations, product marketing, branding, digital publicity, advertising, fundraising, and product distribution, but excluding production activities such as newsgathering, reporting, writing, design and photography.
  • Students will conduct independent research on a type of entrepreneurship in small groups and report back to the class on at least one professional example of that type in action.
  • Students will generate suggestions for how to encourage entrepreneurial activities in high school journalism programs.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.


180-210 minutes (three 60-70-minute classes)


Rubric: Collaboration rubric

Rubric: Investigation rubric

Handout: Investigation assignment

Handout: Entrepreneurship and journalism

Slideshow: Types of entrepreneurship

Document camera, computer, iPad, other tablet or whiteboard


Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Group formation and discussion — 10-12 minutes

Split students up into new groups, different from the groups they worked with for the “Defining entrepreneurship in journalism” lesson, to review their classification of the examples and non-examples from the previous night’s homework assignment. Give students 8-10 minutes to do this, then lead a class discussion to address any confusion which may have resulted from student practice.

2. Slideshow — 20 minutes

Show the slideshow of further examples and non-examples of entrepreneurship, asking questions to facilitate discussion and lead to students’ recognition of the difference between production and entrepreneurial activities. Explain that key differences between these activities lie in the critical attributes – while production activities do result in something new and often require initiative and risk, they are not generally for the purpose of generating revenue and audience participation in order to market or sell a product and foster a readership community. Students should be able to differentiate between activities that are related to newsgathering, reporting and producing news, and activities related to creating and sustaining a news business. Consider having students offer insights as to why both of these types of activities are necessary.

3. Student notes — 15 minutes

Distribute a note-taking guide to give students more complete information about each of the seven types of entrepreneurial activities and careers/specific jobs related to them in a journalistic context. Continue to cycle back to the question about why this type of activity is important for a news business.

4. Assessment — 10 minutes

Explain the small project students will complete while using their notes from class. (This is the Investigation Assignment.) Students must conduct research on one type of news entrepreneurship and find examples of how professional journalists use these activities today. Then, they need to create a poster to showcase their findings and suggest ways that student journalists can use these activities to address production problems in a high school setting. On the back of their poster, groups should write a paragraph justifying the necessity of entrepreneurial activities for a journalistic program, including a review of both production and entrepreneurial activities and an explanation for how they are similar and different. Students may begin work on this assignment, given time during the class period, and continue to do research overnight.

Day 2

1. Work time — entire class period

Remind students of the project requirements and give them the class period to conduct research, create posters and write paragraphs.

Day 3

1. Work time — 30-45 minutes

Allow students 30-45 minutes to finish their posters and paragraphs.

2. Presentations — the remainder of class time

Each group should give a 3-5 minute presentation, depending on how much class remains.

3. Notes on presentations — during student presentations

Take notes on the suggestions for how to mimic entrepreneurial activities in a high school setting to prepare for Lesson 3: Entrepreneurship in Scholastic Journalism.


If placing students in mixed-ability groups, consider introducing the idea of group roles to ensure that all students in the group contribute effectively. If there is a wide range of student readiness, consider compiling a list of websites with good examples for the Investigation Assignment in advance that you can distribute to less-ready or slower-working students to make it easier for them to locate a good example within the specified parameters.