I’ve always been perplexed by what exactly an ‘entrepreneur’ is. Or what on earth ‘enterprising’ means. However, I feel I’ve inadvertently become exactly that.
It all started over a lunch a few weeks ago. The previous week a few of us had covered the Doncaster and Derbyshire local elections during what the Department of Journalism Studies calls ‘production week’. Effectively, the newsroom acts as though we were a professional organisation, publishing 9-5, Monday to Friday. As somebody with an interest in politics I put myself forward to cover the elections, and ended up managing a politics team of 5-6. Despite being dreadfully ill (I really do need to get around to that ‘balanced diet’ thing, my immune system tells me that there might be something to it), it was fantastic fun, eye-opening and reminded me again why I want to become a journalist.
The next week there I was with one of the team members, at the University Arms. We reckoned we’d done a good job, we’d both enjoyed it and we floated the idea of making it a little bit more permanent. Despite the General Election coming out of nowhere (not the same as it being a surprise), they are only supposed to come every five years. To cover one sounded a great experience, and one we fancied putting ourselves forward for. On a more strategic level, with the end of the course looming large, we realised that mumbling something about exams when asked what we covered during the election might not cover it.
Often, you have ‘pie in the sky’ ideas and never get through to carrying them out. The typical person in their life has enough ideas that if they carried them out, it would be enough to fill a few lifetimes.
So, we mused. Could we run a website for a month during the General Election. Why not? We’d done it for the previous week, with a little bit of oversight. We reckoned our instincts were good, a domain name was relatively cheap, and despite exams, essays and shorthand being obstacles, we reckoned we could find the time.
We fancied running a non-partisan website, reporting the election, the campaigns and what was going on across South Yorkshire. Not an easy task at all.
Moreover, to quote the late, great Brian Clough to Don Revie, looking around at some of the local understaffed press, we “wanted to do it better than you”, and with some of us solely focussed on politics, we had the resources. Youthful hubris perhaps.
So, from scratch, without an audience, a website, connections, many contacts, we started a website. South Yorkshire Briefing. Self-starting, from scratch, with ideas rather than reality, along with my co-editor, I’ve ended up being an entrepreneur. Not that I expect to make much money, but even to start at that level, it’s been an eye-opener.
We accept readers of all political colours, and beliefs, and we’ve had a few thousand in the first fortnight. We aim to be informative, and occasionally witty. If you’re interested, come and join us.