Workshop 3: Justin Varilek

Sustainable Journalism is Responsible Journalism: Funding your passion



  1. Identify 5 sources of revenues
  2. Identify 3 priority sales targets for each revenue source
  3. Identify what needs to be done before approaching
  4. Plan how to approach the sales targets
  5. Gain skills necessary to approach and complete a sale



  • What is your project
    • Breakdown each idea into a concise and precise value statement
    • Write on a paper how they will fund it
  • What problems are you solving
    • Learn how to identify needs in that market that can be addressed and sold to
    • Groups of 3 formulate each individual problem set for their addressable market
    • Explanation of splitting between luxury markets and mass markets
  • Diversifying is surviving
    • Ping Pong ball exercise to demonstrate the value of diversifying revenue streams
  • Presentation and review of potential revenue sources
    • Consulting (services)
      • Social media (Bumaga example)
      • Banding/content marketing (Buzzfeed example)
      • Local expertise/fixing (Chechen story for Meduza)
      • Translating
    • Access to
      • Community
      • Events
      • Special people
      • Audiences (advertisements)
      • Content
      • Information (research for government, NGOs, business and politics)
    • Data
      • Competitions and rankings
      • Paywalls
      • User behavior and interests (Facebook)
      • Market data (Bloomberg/DOW Jones)
    • Training
      • Education for other journalists (Mediatoolbox)
    • Items discussed in other lectures
      • Grants
      • Crowdfunding
      • Government
      • NGOs
      • Donors

Lunch break

  • Farmer example on earning revenues from activities that support your passion
  • Implementation
    • Products each team is creating and potential sales opportunity
      • One example, then break into groups of 3
    • Identify sales targets / real life organizations or groups that could be sold to
    • Identifying what price to sell at
      • Value vs cost
      • Conducting market research
      • Test and failing
    • Approaching and selling to a customer
      • Presentation with top skills
      • Role playing and acting out real situations
    • Splitting revenues between what is feasible now and what is scalable in the future
      • Create plan for revenue streams in 6 months, in 12 months, in 3 years