When we started Tellus News Digest in 2014, our goal was to create a venue where content contributors could publish high quality, professionally edited, and well documented articles on trending news stories, while leaving room for the kind of in-depth exploratory articles that will cast light on stories that are being manipulated by the mainstream media. Now, we are expanding the scope of our efforts to include a whole new approach to the problem of helping people in various stages of recovery to recover their public voices as well as their private lives by opening up the Tellus website for people would like to learn research, writing, editing and marketing skills.
Tellus News Digest: Goals
- To aggregate previously published, well-written, timely, informative and accurate articles about current events here and around the world, focusing on the stories that might not be covered elsewhere on issues that are being neglected by the media at large.
- To teach news writing and journalism skills to a specialized population consisting of former prison inmates, recovering substance abusers, high school and college dropouts, displaced workers, and those seeking to return to the job market or to enter it for the first time.
- To provide a venue where this clientele can receive real-world news writing and journalism skills, learning to publish well-written, well-document, and appropriately illustrated articles that address both breaking news and continuing issues.
Tellus News Digest: Objectives
- Teach advanced computer skills that are necessary to achieve our goals.
- Provide continuing education in finding, researching, documenting, writing and editing competently prepared news stories.
- Create avenues for re-socialization, support system development, self-expression and feedback that are necessary for these “interrupted workers” to regain a foothold in the workplace.
- Enable successful participants to develop a résumé that will include a portfolio of articles that can be used to establish valid bona fides in fields that require computer competency and writing skills.
Learning How to Learn Online
If you want to be successful in this world – in the information age – you have to learn how to learn, and developing your communication skills is one of the best ways to learn how to learn.
Today, you need to know a lot more than how to read and write. You need to know how to communicate effectively, and that means learning how to read critically, with greater understanding, and how to write well so that you can express your thoughts to others. These are the basic building blocks.
You also need to know how to use a computer, get on the Internet, use a number of different computer programs, WHILE also learning how to write for publication.
Learning how to write well isn’t easy, but writing well opens up a wide variety of job opportunities. When you join the Tellus Institute, we will teach you to read and write like journalists by giving you the opportunity to work for a real news organization, doing research, writing stories, editing, and creating interesting graphics to illustrate your stories.
We teach using a combination of writing assignments, online seminars, and individual coaching sessions during which you will learn the ins and outs of how to get your articles published. Will everyone we enroll in the program become a journalist? Of course not, but there are many other jobs that require the same kind of writing and editing skills. This is a very rare opportunity to learn how journalism works.
The Feedback Loop: The Benefits of Positive Reinforcement
One of the things that separates success and failure in life is feedback. Without feedback, infants fail to thrive, and often die. Without feedback, students fail in their studies, athletes fail in their efforts, and workers fail at their jobs because they don’t know how well – or poorly – they are doing.
The problem is that bad feedback is everywhere, but good feedback is hard to find. Usually, the lowest quality feedback comes from individuals, friends, family, teachers, and employers. You get good feedback from groups. Unlike individuals, whose feedback may be correct or incorrect, good or bad (and those quantities aren’t the same things at all), honest groups never lie…because they can’t. The false positives and the false negatives cancel each other out and what you are left with is the valid feedback, the fertilizer for personal growth.
Getting good feedback is often a matter of luck: being at the right place at the right time. It’s also a matter of planning, putting yourself into situations where you might get good feedback, but it is mostly about being prepared to receive the feedback, and that takes training.
Where do you get feedback? From peer groups, work groups, religious affiliations, social networks. The Tellus program is designed to give participants high quality feedback about their ideas and the ways they express their ideas. No one is right all the time, which is why we have designed a system that allows our contributors to edit each other’s articles under professional supervision, so that the contributors get feedback on both their ideas and the way their ideas were expressed.
Revenue Generation Through Synergistic Marketing
Tellus News Digest will operate on advertising revenues generated by advertising on the TND Website. Advertising revenues on the Internet are dependent upon the amount of traffic you are able to generate. The more traffic you generate, the more clicks you get and clicks become revenue. We each have our own unique personal network consisting of the people with whom we communicate on a regular basis. You have your personal network and I have mine.
On our own, I can only reach the members of my personal network, and you can only reach the members of your network. By pooling our individual networks together, we develop a powerful marketing tool. As the number of contributors increases over time, the combined effect of the contributors promoting their individual articles to their individual groups of followers attracts those followers to the website, where they will see the work of other contributors. This is synergy marketing.
Here’s how the Compensation Model Works
The compensation model is very simple. Each month, we will determine the total revenue earned by the Tellus News Digest website. We will then subtract the actual operating costs from the gross revenues and divide the remainder by the total number of words published each month to determine the word rate for that month.
Each contributor will be paid according to the number of words published during the previous month, multiplied by the word rate. Editors will be paid at a flat rate per month and those costs will comprise the majority of the overhead costs.