The first cohort of the Independent News Challenge includes: Hannah Sung (top left), Melissa Villeneuve (top middle), Martin Lukacs (top right) and team, Ayesha Barmania and Will Pearson (bottom left), Brandi Schier (bottom middle), John White (bottom right). Photo compilation by The Discourse.

Spotlight Alberta selected for Independent News Challenge

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It’s been an exciting and motivating few weeks.

On top of productive calls and feedback from several of our advisors, we’ve been selected for the Independent News Challenge with The Discourse.

I can’t speak highly enough of Erin Millar and her team with The Discourse, not only for their work on creating and executing on this program but for their vision and perseverance to launch The Discourse in the first place.

As someone who launched an online-only news startup in 2007 and co-founded another in 2012, I can speak directly to the challenges inherent with breaking ground on new approaches to news.

For her and her team to take that further to share their best practices with like-minded news entrepreneurs needing that audience development hand up is quite commendable.

I’ve got the news chops and experience and the ability to design and maintain websites in WordPress, but I have little to no experience with market research and audience marketing techniques. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this first cohort of online pioneers in Canada.

We’re in the second full week of the nine-week intensive training program and I’ve already learned several critical lessons relating to audience identification and verification.

Watch for a user survey soon to help Spotlight Alberta narrow the focus of our marketing spend and research.

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