A new approach for profitable foreign news reporting

Editor’s note: The following is an abstract of an article by Ying Zhang: “A New Approach for Profitable Foreign News Reporting.”

Mainstream media struggle to adapt to the Internet, which provides specialized information tailored to people’s interests. We propose that traditional media rise to the challenge and meet this need by establishing online bilingual news clubs to fundamentally improve our current foreign language study system, to help U.S. businesses compete more effectively overseas, and to diminish international threats by improving intercultural understanding. The proposed online educational clubs would set a basic model for revenue-generating journalism in the modern digital age. The revenue streams would include paid individual subscriptions, school and business group subscriptions, targeted advertisements, government contracts, grants, and public donations.

How it works

Print media does not provide sufficient information on international events and online news from current international websites often do not reach their intended audience. With strong emphasis on music, videos, and other modern multimedia technologies, the new bilingual clubs will help subscribers learn about foreign news, languages, traditions, religions, cultures, and current events in a more comprehensive, coherent, and systematic approach.

The proposed online educational clubs will offer users broad access to a large selection of academic and job- related contents from the proposed bilingual news clubs and from domestic newspapers. These clubs contain mostly news stories that describe how people connect academic knowledge to their work and how they use different technologies, innovative methods, or approaches to advance their career and improve the quality of their lives. Many newspapers can benefit if they agree to license their contents to the clubs for a syndication fee.

What materials are used?

This article is based on a personal business idea, with useful inputs from a number of professionals serving as consultants. The proposed approach will effectively utilize the existing journalism skills to help add significant values to our society.


The proposed online bilingual clubs can help improve foreign language study since they can be used as complementary tools to support current language-learning methodologies and help make the process more cost-effective, interesting, and efficient. One of the primary purposes of studying language is for us to learn the values and insights that other cultures have to offer. By learning how other people make their decisions and live their lives, we can also find new ways to solve existing problems. These bilingual clubs will provide an engaging and active forum for subscribers and the opportunity for lifelong learning about other languages and cultures.

Secondly, these bilingual clubs can provide easy and low-cost online consulting tools for both multinational corporations and small businesses to access different foreign markets and expand their enterprise overseas.  By creating collective opinions and voices on certain issues and documenting some common mistakes made from different companies, these bilingual clubs have the potential to help protect America’s business interests overseas.

Thirdly, the bilingual clubs would have a long-term positive impact to fight on terrorism. They can provide immediate feedback and opinions that help check and balance what Americans might have done wrong in other foreign nations, and reduce the hard feelings or hatred towards America among foreign societies.

Lastly, a network of online bilingual news clubs can produce a vast amount of interesting, accurate, and practical material. These contents can also be divided into different educational and industrial fields in order to attract potential subscribers who are looking for inexpensive and diversified ways to improve their education and job skills. A rich international collection of interesting and informative educational news stories from various types of media outlets will help inspire Americans to find more creative and productive directions in their education or career paths.


The existence of these online clubs can help Americans realize their problems and weaknesses through the eyes of international observers. The clubs would help provide a platform where the grassroots journalism and watchdog functions can both grow by connecting journalists’ investigative and communicational expertise with consumers who share similar interests or backgrounds in the field. The proposed news clubs would help Americans learn many different cultures and help inspire Americans to find new approaches to solve existing problems more efficiently.


This model tries to make use of maximum revenue capacity, so that journalism companies may be able to choose particular revenue streams that best fit their ideology and core competence to obtain revenue from different sources. I wish to contribute this business idea to American journalists who have the necessary skill sets to maximize the potential benefits of these online news clubs.

Read the full article.

About Ying Zhang

Ying Zhang graduated from the University of Colorado in 2003 with a B.A. degree in Economics.


  1. I am especially intrigued by this type of approach because it extends the idea that I and so many others have been promoting – that news publishing must become an extension of community building in order to prosper.

    My daughter is taking French lessons at the local Alliance Francaise, a “club,” if you will, that reflects some of the spirit of this proposal. And it has very effectively cultivated a love for the French language, culture and (a very little bit of) news from my daughter. A similar club with a more explicit news focus could provide some intriguing possibilities for news publishers.

    Think creatively, everyone.