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Clare Cook

Senior lecturer and researcher, Co-founder Media Innovation Studio
School of Arts and Media

Clare Cook is a research practitioner, co-founder of the Media Innovation Studio at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. Her specialist interest is moving independent media through viable, sustainable and resilient models with a focus on revenue models and innovation. For seven years she has analysed and worked on independent journalism business models in Europe and politically pressured environments. Together she is passionate about new methodological approaches capable of stimulating innovation in journalism business models more broadly. She inputs evidence to policy makers and media development programmes, and speaks internationally. Currently she is heading up research for a new platform called Value My News, which hopes to unlock new revenue streams for hyperlocal journalism sites in the UK, funded by Google DNI and Future News Fund. This platform prototype aims to develop new supply chain economies for hyperlocal and independent media in the UK, creating a suite of tools for white labelling to unlock new revenue streams through the sharing economy and by upselling content through the UK media system

Clare is published widely in Journal of Media Business Studies, International Communication Gazette and Nordicom Review. She is co-author of two books: Social Media for Journalists Principles and Practice (Sage) and Chasing Sustainability on the Net (COMET). She is co-author of several key reports such as Sustainable Business Models on the Net (COMET), Hyperlocal Revenues in the UK and Europe (Nesta) and Unlocking Journalism Resilience: Adapting a Digital Business Model to Promote Press Freedom (Wan-Ifra).

Her thesis explores revenue models in the path sustainability of web-indigenous journalism using a pragmatist approach. She is Principle Investigator on several research projects, awarded funding from Nesta, Nemode, RCUK, and Google Digital News Initiative. She often assesses applications for journalism grant programmes and is involved in business mentoring on project interventions as part of her commitment to engaged scholarship. As business mentor for the Engaged Journalism Accelerator, she has developed a new toolkit using hexagonal heat mapping to correlate reader relationships with reader revenue models. 

Clare is an award-winning journalist who forged her career in journalism for ten years across regional and periodicals. She is passionate about decentralised local media and speaks internationally relating to hyperlocal and independent community media resilience. She advises many media on their revenue diversification strategies. Her policy impact is felt in UK government and international development. Her recent research into hyperlocal and politically pressured media revenue models has been used as evidence by the Department of Culture Media & Sport and the Department for International Development.

Her work on viability, sustainability and resilience co-authored within Sustainable Business Models on the Net and Nesta's Mapping the Road to Sustainability and Resilience are noted for their high level of instrumental impact with media practitioners. Her focus is primarily on putting knowledge into practice.

In 2014, she designed and delivered an action research workshop on Collaborative Revenue Capture bringing exiled media practitioners from Iran. Colombia, Belarus, Syria and more together to co-create new knowledge with funders to understand alternative revenue models for media in politically pressured environments.

In 2016, she developed CAST, a proximity prototype for distribution networks in remote Armenian villages. Using WiFi mesh capable of sustaining hyperlocal content discovery and interactions from electronic devices it allows decentralized access to news and resources. The pilot fused new knowledge on digital divide, digital literacy, community engagement and decentralized information architecture.