ClearHealthCosts Founder Jeanne Pinder reports that her Knight Foundation prototype project, partnering with KQED in San Francisco and KPCC public radio in Los Angeles has been “a smashing success.” The launch pages on both radio stations prompted hundreds of shares of prices for medical procedures and thousands of people searched the databases. A Journal of American Medicine editorial endorsed the idea of price transparency. The editorial called us “bold” and a supplier of “essential information,” and called for more of the same, Pinder said. NPR’s Shots blog also featured the project in a post. WWe also were cited as an unimpeachable source of neutral pricing information in a contract dispute between Stanford Health and Anthem Blue Cross,” Pinder said. CHC also got more great press in Politico, Nerdwallet, Yahoo Finance. Pinder said she hopes have some other “clone” partnerships to announce soon.
The last weekend of Feburary 2014, the LGBT Media Journalists Convening had a new face at the table. Sarah Toce, New Media Women Entrepreneur 2010 winner and founder/publisher of The Seattle Lesbian, represented her organization at the conference in Washington, DC. Her presence at the invitation-only convening shows how The Seattle Lesbian is becoming a powerful voice in the LGBT media world.
The 18 westernmost counties North Carolina had no local news radio, paper, or even website to turn to until Carolina Public Press launched. Now, the non-profit news site is reporting on stories that matter from child poverty to local elections. But Carolina Public Press is not just sharing investigations with their audience. The news outlet shares stories with public broadcasters across the state, making quality, local journalism available to more and more Carolinians. Read about what Carolina Public Press is accomplishing in the J-Lab report News Chops: Beefing up the Journalism in Local Public Broadcasting.
What do the U.S. healthcare market and the U.S.S.R have in common? According to Jeanne Pinder, both have some walls that need dedicated people to them tear down – and build something new in its place.
J-Lab, American University’s SOC and MAME programs, The National Press Club sponsored the New Media Women Entrepreneurs: Making New Ideas Happen summit. The summit featured 11 talks on how to make a start-up work. Watch the other talks on Vimeo.
Jeanne Pinder told us what she has learned from ClearHealthCosts and other experiences about how media start ups can make money.
Symbolia founder and new NMWE advisory board member Erin Polgreen talks about successful guerilla marketing for her venture into comics journalism.
The next issue of Symbolia, the comics journalism magazine, is looking to tell all. This issue will focus on thoughtful, revealing, and sometimes humorous first-person memoirs.
We’re looking for stories of fundamental change, rites of passage, and personal transformation. Think secret lives, travels, survival, adventure, perseverance, and coming to know oneself. This issue will build on a strong tradition of autobiographical comics and zines.
We hope to push the boundaries for interactive content in this issue and look forward to pitches with intriguing ideas for sounds, animation, and other elements that will enhance the story. We’re looking for writers, artists, and journalists with experience crafting interactive content. We will pay special attention to pitches for global stories. Note that all work will be fact-checked and will need to be well-documented. Symbolia pays creators for their work.
The deadline to submit a pitch for this issue is FRIDAY, AUGUST 9.
Learn more here:
And here’s a direct link to the pitch form: http://bit.ly/17NLApb
Symbolia has made it through its first six months! In the last month, we’ve released our second issue, debuted a collaboration with PopSci and Tumblr, launched on Kindle Fire, and are moving towards with a fully-built out Android app to follow in June.
We currently have just under 850 subscribers across iPad and PDF, and over 6,500 people have downloaded our free issue. While subscriptions have slowed down a bit, we are still making great progress towards our year-end goal of 3,000 subscribers. Note: Symbolia becomes sustainable at 3,000 subscribers, but will break even at around 1,500.
Symbolia has allowed me to completely rebrand myself and my expertise in under a year. We are supported by a community of leaders in the journalism, literary, and tech worlds. I’m so proud to be leading such a creative and exciting project.
Symbolia is an internationally renowned publication, and it has brought me opportunities to speak and collaborate with organizations from around the world. My 2013 speaking engagements include an upcoming conference on journalism and storytelling in Sydney, Australia, the Power of Narrative Conference at BU, and Cusp Conference in Chicago.
Symbolia itself continues to net great reviews and feedback from our community. We’ve been covered in Forbes, FastCo, and the Columbia Journalism Review. For a list of most of the 100+ stories on Symbolia, visit bit.ly/192c6vX.
In terms of audience development, we’re aces. Over 6,300 people have used our free preview issue, and we’re holding steady at an average 12.4% conversion rate as a result — that’s the percentage of users who purchase a subscription after downloading the free edition. The average conversion rate for digital and tablet publications, as peer organizations have described to me in conversation, is about 5%.
Other metrics include:
As part of an expansion strategy, the comics journalism venture Symbolia is now available on the Kindle Fire e-reader.