theSkimm visits the CoJMC

theSkimm visits the CoJMC

Monday, October 23, 2017 - 11:15am
John Shrader asks Danielle Weisber and Carly Zakin questions during theSkimm talk

by Alli Inglebright

theSkimm co-founders Danielle Weisber and Carly Zakin visited the College of Journalism & Mass Communications Oct. 6 to talk with students about their media company.

Weisber and Zakin founded theSkimm in 2012 after leaving their careers at NBC News. As self-proclaimed “news junkies,” they realized their friends weren’t reading and watching the news because it was sometimes difficult to understand. They decided to start a media company that would allow them to deliver the news in a conversational, easy to understand voice.

“News doesn’t have to be elitist,” Zakin said during the discussion.

Each article that is delivered to subscribers in their daily newsletter includes a link that leads to a complete and credible news source about the issue.

“We view ourselves as the gateway into the news because we link out to reliable sources,” Weisber said during the discussion.

The co-founders were visiting the University of Nebraska as part of the Nebraska Women’s Leadership fall conference hosted by the Nebraska Alumni Association. Weisber and Zakin stopped by the CoJMC after the conference.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for our students to see an example of two highly successful millennial journalism entrepreneurs and to learn how they used the journalism skills they had in a new context for a very specific audience,” said Frauke Hachtmann, professor and associate dean for the CoJMC. “Our students asked excellent questions as part of the session.”

Emily Case, graduate student at the CoJMC, subscribed to theSkimm newsletter in 2014 and has been following them ever since.

“It was incredible seeing theSkimm founders sitting in front of me at the CoJMC,” Case said. “theSkimm is one example of people who are forging their own path in the new age of journalism. It's scary and uncertain, but you can also do amazing things if you have the right vision and don't give up on it.”

The co-founders talked about knowing their audience and how to reach them, and they credited their success with being in tune with their target audience.

“One of the biggest take-aways for me was how theSkimm is able to combine journalism, advertising and public relations as part of a new business model targeting one of the most lucrative target audiences: millennial women,” Hachtmann said. “Everything they talked about shows how versatile a degree in journalism and mass communications is.”