Event Recap: Media Startup Demo Night

The newest innovations in journalism technology were explored at this month’s Media Startup Demo Night, at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Extended presentations were given by a diverse lineup—from FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism publication owned by ESPN, to Spoon University, a national student publication started by two Northwestern students.

The social platform Rebelmouse highlighted its work with The Dodo, a publication focused on viral content about animals. Through Rebelmouse’s work, posts like “As ‘Blackfish’ Soars, Will SeaWorld Sink?” amassed 8 million page views and 1 million Facebook likes. As a result of that success, Rebelmouse is concentrating on big brands and big money – the good news is that the free version of the platform is still available.

Spoon University is a food media network started by two Northwestern students. There is a website for over 30 colleges, and each site is run by students at that particular university. The founders outlined a rigorous training program to ensure quality control, and compared the millennial love of food to Baby Boomers’ love of music — unprecedented in depth and marketability.

Media is one of the most dynamic and prickly fields in innovation — powerfully executed journalism has the potential to reach millions of viewers. That’s why media startups are so compelling to watch, because any one of them could shake up the way we consume news.