Kingston University's journalism department has launched the myNewsBiz competition to help support new ideas for the news business. The contest is open to students from any UK university and will reward the best pitch for a sustainable platform, product or service with a £1,000 grant.
The first prize will be decided by a panel of industry judges and a runner-up award of £500 will also be given out.
"At Kingston we're keen to invest in enhancing our students employability. A changing industry in changing times combined with more journalism students than ever before means that there isn't going to be a ready-made job for everyone. The future of news and journalism is in the hands of these young people. If we can support and encourage them to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit they will be better able to create their own careers and build innovative news businesses that can spark employment for thousands of others," Beth Brewster, director of studies, journalism and publishing, at Kingston University, told Journalism.co.uk.
"The competition is part of a whole raft of projects and initiatives supported by Kingston University's employability fund. The department had to put in a bid to get this funding and we are excited about the prospect of finding some new talent and business models that will ensure the future of journalism and our students."
To support the competition, Kingston will also be hosting online training materials on the myNewsBiz site to help students develop their business ideas.
Entry to the competition is free and applications must be submitted by 1 April 2011. Entrants will be whittled down to a shortlist that will attend a Dragons' Den style pitching event in May 2011.
"If the future of news is entrepreneurial, then it's not as easy as saying 'it is so'. Thousands of journalists won't head straight to Companies House the next morning to register their new business," writes Adam Westbrook, who teaches within the journalism department and has helped set up myNewsBiz, in a blog post announcing the competition.
"If more journalists and other creatives are to create their own careers, build innovative new businesses and spark employment for thousands of others, their entrepreneurial spirit needs fostering early on. If journalism in the future is powered by entrepreneurs they must be comfortable with business - and excited by it."