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Emerging Business Models for News

February 27 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

J-Talks Live: Emerging Business Models for News. Tuesday, February 27

In today’s shifting journalism landscape, where traditional revenue streams falter amidst fragmented digital platforms and declining ad revenues, news outlets – particularly new and entrepreneurial ones – are seeking innovative models that prioritise access to news and informed communities.

Our panel features industry upstarts who are creatively rethinking how to deliver value to audiences and build healthy, diversified mission-driven businesses.  Join us to explore how these trailblazers are building active communities and reshaping the future of news through novel revenue models.

The virtual discussion took place on February 27 and featured Anita Li, founder and editor in chief of The Green LineGraham Watson-Ringo, Vice President of Success and Growth  at News Revenue Hub, which plays a crucial role in funding quality journalism, and Dru Oja Jay, Publisher of The BreachBrett Chang, founder and CEO of The Peak moderated.

Watch the Video

Listen to the Podcast


About the Panelists

Anita Li

Anita Li is a longtime journalist, news entrepreneur, media consultant and educator. Currently, she is the founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of The Green Line, a local Toronto-based news outlet.

Anita teaches journalism innovation to graduate students at Toronto Metropolitan University and community-driven journalism to undergraduate students at Centennial College in Toronto. In addition, she coaches media executives and news entrepreneurs at the City University of New York’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of journalism.

Anita has over a decade of full-time experience as a multi-platform journalist in three markets: Toronto, New York City and Ottawa. She started her career as a reporter and editor at Canadian legacy publications, including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and CBC. After that, she worked in strategic, management-level roles at American digital media outlets, such as Complex, Fusion and Mashable. Most recently, Anita was director of communities at The Discourse, a disruptive new player in the Canadian media scene that fills in gaps in news coverage for underserved communities. As a writer and reporter, she has been published in New York Magazine, Poynter, Policy Options and other publications across North America.

Anita is an expert in community-driven journalism, audience engagement, news entrepreneurship, consumer revenue business models, newsroom diversity, media ethics and journalism innovation; she’s spoken on these topics in press interviews and at conferences worldwide. Anita has also consulted a wide range of journalism outlets and institutions, including CBC Manitoba, American Press Institute, Journalists for Human Rights, Toronto Public Library, Pink Triangle Press, Carleton University, Indiegraf, Liisbeth, Facebook Journalism Project’s Sustainability Accelerator, Google’s Project Oasis via Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Radio Cité 97.9 and Informed Opinions.

Anita is a member of the 2020-21 Online News Association board of directors, as well as an alum of the inaugural 2016 Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media. She also co-founded Canadian Journalists of Colour, a rapidly growing network of racialized media-makers in Canada, in 2018. To keep up with Anita, subscribe to The Other Wave, her newsletter about challenging the status quo in journalism

Graham Watson-Ringo

Graham Watson-Ringo is Vice President of Success and Growth with the News Revenue Hub where she helps local news outlets create strategies to become profitable and sustainable. Graham, a 20-year journalism veteran, spent the bulk of her career working in sports journalism with major metros such as the Dallas Morning News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch before moving into digital journalism with ESPN and Yahoo. She left sports to pursue holistic digital strategy at the San Antonio Express-News before eventually fostering a love of nonprofit journalism at the San Antonio Report, where she served three years as managing editor. Graham is a lover of the full-funnel approach, well-crafted CTAs, killer UX, and insider journalism speak.

Graham is a graduate of the journalism school at the University of Missouri – Columbia and played goalkeeper for three seasons on the Tigers’ women’s soccer team. Graham is also graduated from the inaugural year of the Executive Leadership Program at the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY. She currently serves on the board of the APSE Foundation, which helps to foster diversity in sports journalism at the managerial level. Graham resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and three children.

Dru Oja Jay

Dru Oja Jay is a writer, organizer and web developer based in Val David, Quebec. Currently serving as Executive Director of CUTV and Publisher of The Breach, he is a co-founder of the Media Co-op, Journal Ensemble, Friends of Public Services and Courage. He is co-author, with Nikolas Barry-Shaw, of Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s development NGOs from idealism to imperialism.

About the Moderator

Brett Chang

Brett is Co-Founder and CEO of The Peak – a daily newsletter, podcast and content studio helping Canada’s modern business leaders get smarter and stay informed with news and content that’s fast, entertaining, and digestible. Since starting in 2020, The Peak now reaches an audience of over 100,000 across newsletters, podcasts, events, and social media, including hosting The Peak Daily – Canada’s no. 1 most listened to business podcast. In June 2023, Brett announced the acquisition of The Peak by Moses Znaimer’s ZoomerMedia for $5m. Brett is a serial entrepreneur and prior to The Peak started companies in digital communications and the cannabis industry. In addition, Brett was one of first few employees at Uber Canada where he helped drive and develop public policy for major cities across the country.





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February 27
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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