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Updated Sept. 17, 2013

Some of the many inspiring things about the Reynolds Journalism institute are meeting new people, exposure to their work and their enthusiasm for that work, and sharing all that with others in our circles of friends, colleagues and fellow travelers. It’s a vibrant outcome from RJI’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Carlos Watson, founder and CEO of Ozy MediaThe most recent example, for me anyway, was Carlos Watson and his vision of a future of journalism. Carlos was an invited guest and luncheon speaker for yesterday’s (Sept. 10, 2013) “Next steps for sustaining journalism” celebration of opening RJI’s doors five years ago.

I first came across Carlos and his project back in July when curating items for “RJI links,” our daily curation of stories on the Web that could or should be of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs.  Who wouldn’t take notice that Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, had teamed up with other investors to launch Carlos’ Ozy Media?

As with any good and-or successful entrepreneur, one of the first things that strike you about Carlos is his passion and enthusiasm for what he’s doing. It also helps to have a strong positive mental attitude, ooze charm and be relentlessly engaging. Bonus: He spins out turns of phrases fitting of a Guy Kawasaki or a creative copywriter — I’ll call them Ozyisms.

So what is Ozy?

Carlos explains that Ozy will focus on a handful of well-selected stories a day and will cater to the change generation — educated, smart, worldly readers in their mid-20s to 40s who are edgy and open to new ideas.

He’s not so much interested in the flavor of the day or the trend of the moment. His vision is to introduce the Ozy audience to new and interesting stuff three to six months before you see or hear of it in traditional media. … to surface cool stuff … to identify and share not what’s hot, but what’s next. Ozy will include profiles of rising stars and provacateurs.

“Our ambition is to thrill, not just inform.”  … His intent is to “absolutely thrill.”

How will he do that?

  1. Innovative design.
  2. Global perspective.
  3. Transmedia storytelling.
  4. Highlighting interesting university research that often doesn’t gain exposure outside academia and its journals. 

How will he pay for it (beyond his initial investors)?

Watson sees his change generation as curious and capable of falling in love (with personalities, issues, products, services, ideas).

"Where there’s love, there’s money."

Some of Carlos’ other Ozyisms

“Ozy’s job is to bring you the best stuff on earth every day.”

Ozy.com: “The new and the next for the change generation.”

“More than a magazine — a movement.”

And my personal favorite (and that of colleague Peter Meng):

Ozy.com aspires to be “super differentiated and tasty.

Check out Ozy.com

Over the next several days we’ll post/share videos and summaries of many of the “Next steps for sustaining journalism” presentations and discussions. Return here often to see what’s next.

Brian Steffens  
 
Director of Communications



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