Survival is Success—new RISJ Challenge by Bruno and Nielsen published today

The economics of online news today are as challenging for new entrants as they are for industry incumbents. Though internet use and online advertising is growing rapidly across Europe, it is not clear that this alone will provide the basis for new forms of journalism.

Analysis of some of the most promising new journalistic ventures shows that even the most innovative enterprises can find it as difficult to break even online as their most conservative legacy media counterparts do.

That is the message of a new RISJ Challenge published today, written by the Italian journalist Nicola Bruno and the Reuters Institute Research Fellow Rasmus Kleis Nielsen.

The report is the first to systematically assess how journalistic online start-ups are doing across Western Europe.

Based on analysis of nine strategically chosen cases from Germany, France, and Italy—including prominent pure players like Netzeitung, MediaPart, and Lettera43—it shows that the start-up scene in Europe is still at a stage where survival must been seen as a form of success in itself.