Open Room Media, the brainchild of Reynolds School of Journalism Professor and Media Entrepreneurship Chair Mignon Fogarty, launched this week. The first episode features Reno media entrepreneurs Amanda Burden and Jaci Goodman of edible Reno-Tahoe magazine. Listen to the first episode and subscribe to Open Room Media. Fogarty and the Open Room Media team plan to release one episode each month. Future shows will feature media startups in Chicago, Ill., Los Angeles, Calif., the Bay Area and Wisconsin.
Open Room Media is made possible through support from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
"Amanda and Jaci were the perfect entrepreneurs to feature because of their unusual story," Fogarty said. "Amanda invested her life savings in a print publication at a time when everyone was saying 'print is dead.' The team felt that the edible Reno-Tahoe story would inspire others and help people achieve what they want to do in their own media startup."
Fogarty is already an award-winning podcaster, having hosted the Grammar Girl podcast for the last nine and-a-half years and receiving recognition such as appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Approximately one year ago, she got the idea to create Open Room Media.
"I had several amazing guests visit my graduate media entrepreneurship class and share their stories," Fogarty said. "After watching how much they inspired my students, I felt it was important to create a podcast to share these founders' stories with a broad audience."
As a result, Fogarty partnered with Reynolds School graduate student and documentary filmmaker Patty Bobek, multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker Nico Colombant, and Reynolds School undergraduate students Sam Johnson and Zachary Taylor to bring life to the project.
"The show is designed to showcase entrepreneurial ideas across disciplines," Bobek said. "Mignon is an experienced podcaster, and it's been really fun to identify themes across podcasts. People are taking huge risks in a variety of different ways."
Edible Reno-Tahoe is a publication that beat the odds.
"The more I think about being featured on the podcast the more I realize how important it is to tell these stories," edible Reno-Tahoe publisher/editor Burden said. "I am a small business owner, and I want to help others have the courage and inspiration to follow their dreams and start their businesses."
Burden and Goodman have built a respectable publication and were recently honored at the Nevada Press Association Awards.
"I am pretty excited to announce that we won 18 awards at the Nevada Press Association event a few weeks ago," Burden said. "Awards we took home ranged from Best Multiple Photo Essay, Advertising General Excellence, Best Local Column, Best Overall Design, Best Information Graphic and more. It feels great to get recognition for all of our hard work and to be included on a very well done Open Room Media podcast."
Journalism is not dead.
"Our podcast shows people that you can still do it, take big risks and find success," Bobek said. "You don't have to be a big giant and I hate hearing folks say 'journalism is dead.' This podcast exists to tell the naysayers, 'No, journalism is alive and well.' It's not always packaged as it used to be, but media and journalism are still here - alive and well."