Why we're helping unearth new media startups with the Walkley Foundation

by Alan Jones on the 5th of April 2017

This morning, the number one ‘news moment’ in my Twitter headlines was the news that old media publisher Fairfax is cutting its annual operating budget by a further $30M, sacking more editorial staff and focusing on stories which will increase its online audience.

Watching the ancient print mastheads of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald turn into a blog network in slow motion is not where I expected the future to go. As an eight-year-old, my classroom story about who I wanted to be in the year 2000 had me working as a journalist in the thriving Moon colony. So much for my skills as a futurist, but I was right about one thing — I did study journalism, worked as a journalist and later a magazine editor.

When the World Wide Web was invented I could see that producing magazines and producing early websites were similar, but making websites might pay better and offer more opportunities, and so my second career in tech startups began. Even so, I returned to editorial twice for brief stints, editing online automotive content for CarsGuide and later, editor-in-chief of From Little Things, an Aussie tech startup blog even less successful making money than Fairfax.

I’m lucky to have been at the epicentre when the internet created a series of tectonic shifts that have led to so much change for Fairfax and others.

Despite that, nothing has changed about our need to know what’s going on in the world, what decisions are being made on our behalf, what everybody else thinks about that, and whether we should be optimistic about tomorrow or stocking up on beans, rice and candles.

There’s more changes to come in how media is produced, by whom, and for what compensation, as well as how it reaches an audience. But media isn’t going away, just experiencing a period of massive change.

With massive change comes massive opportunities for new ideas, and to help new Australian media ideas find their feet, we’re excited to be a partner in the 2017 Walkley Media Incubator and Innovation Fund. The incubator and grant funding are hoping to unearth some great ideas for new media ventures that reflect the creativity, honesty and ambition of the Australian media voice.

We at BlueChilli believe great media is an essential component of a good society and a growing economy so we’re lending a hand, where and how we can.

BlueChilli will provide some distilled training in the startup arts of identifying a market, finding product/customer fit and raising venture capital drawn from our 156 Accelerator program. We’ll be available for mentoring, and we’ll do what we can with our own audience reach to help shine a light on the great startups coming out of the incubator.

Applications close tomorrow, and you may be relieved to know that they don’t have to be perfect!

 

2017 Walkley Media Incubator and Innovation Fund

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