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How to be an Entrepreneur as a Business Journalist Webinar October 26-30, 2009

I heard about this free online training opportunity in the SPJ/Freelance Subgroup on LinkedIn. I had the opportunity to meet Joe Grimm at the most recent SPJ national conference so I’m anxious to take these classes.

The free, weeklong “How to be an Entrepreneur as a Business Journalist” Webinar will teach you how to use your skills to make a living outside mainstream media. Freelancer Maya Smart and “Ask-the Recruiter” blogger Joe Grimm will teach the five-hour course.

The Particulars

Location: Online

Date: Oct. 26-30, 2009

Click here to register for this seminar.

Taught one hour a day from Oct. 26-30, the interactive course covers the nuts and bolts of setting up a business from legal and accounting questions to branding and marketing yourself.

A highlight of the week will be a live chat held by Joe Grimm and five successful business journalists turned entrepreneurs. Even if you have no plans to go into business for yourself, you will benefit from learning about your options and how to brand yourself in your current job.

What You Will Learn

  • Monday: Figuring Out the Nuts and Bolts – Maya Smart will lead you through the legal and accounting aspects of setting up a journalism-based business, including sole proprietorship versus limited partnership; what to watch for in contracts, including the issue of electronic rights; getting health, libel, and disability insurance; and figuring out what equipment and software you need.
  • Tuesday: Maintaining Your Social and Mental Health – Maya Smart offers tips on relationship building, dealing with isolation (home office or not?) and rejection, as well as handling ethical concerns. Are there worthwhile organizations to join?
  • Wednesday: Marketing Yourself – Maya Smart tells you how to find clients who will pay you well and on time and discusses whether you should specialize in a niche to make yourself more efficient. What topics are selling well now, and does multimedia reporting pay?
  • Thursday: Branding Yourself – Joe Grimm will teach you how to define your brand as a journalist, including what you need to do to establish yourself as an expert and how to promote your brand via social media and other means.
  • Friday: Live Chat with Successful Journalist Entrepreneurs – Joe Grimm will host a live chat with five successful business journalists turned entrepreneurs. Come back to this page soon for profiles of entrepreneurs and podcasts of Joe’s earlier interviews with them.

Your Instructors

Maya Payne Smart is a freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. Her 2009 clients include Black Enterprise, Black MBA,,, Essence and Heart & Soul. She serves on the board of governors of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and leads its entrepreneurial journalism initiative, which organizes events and programs and services to help independent content producers and publishers build their journalism businesses. She also publishes and gives speeches and workshops on running profitable writing businesses. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She can be reached at

Joe Grimm is a visiting journalist at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. He was a newsroom recruiter and staff development editor at the Detroit Free Press from 1990 until 2008. In 1997, he launched the JobsPage, a journalism career site. He spun off a journalism careers blog, “Ask the Recruiter,” in 2003; it became part of Poynter Online’s Career Center in 2006. He has been a regular contributor to Editor & Publisher magazine, the Newspaper Association of America’s Fusion magazine and UNITY: Journalists of Color. He has been an adjunct professor at Oakland University since 1980. He has taught media editing, copy editing, basic reporting, editorial writing and photojournalism. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and a teaching certificate from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at

What You Will Do During the Week

  • Spend between 1- 1 ½ hours each day working on the Webinar. Ideally, most of this would be done during a live, hourlong session, at either Noon or 4 p.m. EDT. Attending either daily interactive session is highly recommended, but you may also listen to recordings of the sessions to work through the seminar on your own. Adhere to the discussion leader’s deadlines for any work to be completed and submitted.
  • Engage in discussion within the appropriate discussion forum concerning the readings and assignments.

About the Program

Please do not register unless you are sincere about participating in this online seminar and can do so for each day of the designated week. Please receive approval from your editor prior to signing up for the seminar.

Those who successfully complete three regional workshops or online seminars presented by the Reynolds Center are eligible to receive a “Circle of Achievement” award certificate.

This free seminar is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. If you have any questions about the Webinar or the center, please send an e-mail to Executive Director Linda Austin or call 602-496-9187.

The Reynolds Center is funded by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Besides its workshops, the center runs, offering tips, training and resources for those who want to do a better job of covering business.

  • Matthew G. Miller
    Posted at 21:55h, 17 September

    When I follow the link, I find this online seminar is scheduled for Nov. 16 to 20.

  • Dana Neuts
    Posted at 06:00h, 21 September

    Matthew, the class was so popular that it filled up, and they’ve added a second to catch the overflow. I hope you were able to get in. I’m signed up for the first one.

    ~ Dana