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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

  1. Featured News Startup

    ACEsTooHigh.com

    Reporting on the science, education, and policy surrounding childhood trauma

    ACEsTooHigh.com.pngWINTERS, CA — In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of one of the largest studies ever... More >
     
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  1. Mar 24, 2011 12:15 PM

    CU-CitizenAccess

    University-based reporting on poverty in central Illinois

    By Kathy Gilsinan

    CU.Citizen.Access.png URBANA, ILLINOIS — When Brant Houston moved to the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois area from Columbia, Missouri to assume the University of Illinois's Knight Chair in Journalism, he did what he had long encouraged students to do in the classes he taught on computer assisted reporting: he trawled through census data to get a sense of his community. The poverty rate immediately stuck out as far out of proportion to its presence in local news; in Houston's view, it appeared to be...

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  2. Mar 24, 2011 12:11 PM

    Boise Guardian

    Pugnacious reporting on Boise's institutions

    By Chris Benz

    Boise.Guardian.png BOISE, IDAHO — The Boise Guardian, a one-man muckraking blog in Boise, Idaho, has developed an outsized influence and a regular following, thanks to the energy of its proprietor/ reporter, Dave Frazier. No friend of city hall, Frazier has an Idaho court decision named after him. In 2005, he sued the city of Boise for taking out a loan on a new police station without first seeking voters' approval for the bond. The city argued the station was an "ordinary...

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  3. Mar 24, 2011 12:07 PM

    The Iowa Republican

    Reporting-heavy partisan news

    By Joel Meares

    The.Iowa.Republican.png DES MOINES, IOWA — While serving as political director of the Republican Party of Iowa in 2007, Craig Robinson had one of those out-there, against-the-grain ideas that rarely survive the journey from imagination to reality. Republicans, he recalls, were having big problems in terms of media coverage. "It wasn't that we didn't have people in our state doing good stuff, it just wasn't being reported on," says Robinson. His radical idea: to overhaul the party's communications department. Instead of pushing...

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  4. Mar 24, 2011 11:59 AM

    Calbuzz

    No-holds-barred political analysis

    By Joel Meares

    Callbuzz.png APTOS, CALIFORNIA — At political news and analysis website CalBuzz, newly elected California governor Jerry Brown is known simply as "Krusty." His high-spending Republican opponent in the 2010 gubernatorial election, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, is "eMeg." And so, while most Californians still got their earnest doses of 2010 election news from papers like the Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee, and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as from the local legacy TV and radio stations, a tuned-in slice...

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  5. Mar 24, 2011 11:50 AM

    TucsonSentinel.com

    Continuing an underdog media legacy in Tucson

    By Alex Fekula

    Tucson_Sentinal.png TUCSON, ARIZONA — After a 138-year run, the Tucson Citizen, a daily that reported on such historic events as the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, closed its doors in May of 2009. Dylan Smith, the Citizen's online editor, was among the many journalists displaced by the paper's disbanding. Not content to let the Arizona Daily Star claim victory in Tucson's newspaper war, Smith undertook what to him was an obvious move: he gathered several former Citizen colleagues and formed TucsonSentinel.com...

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  6. Mar 24, 2011 11:45 AM

    Ozarks Unbound

    One man (and three contributors) in the wide world of northwest Arkansas

    By Sam Eifling

    Ozarks.Unbound.png FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS — The challenges have been twofold for Christopher Spencer, the veteran reporter who founded Ozarks Unbound after he was laid off from his gig at the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas. The first, simply, is revenue. The second is establishing a journalistic brand when there's only one of him (with three contributors) cranking out news about northwest Arkansas, a metro region of nearly a half-million people that is home to the University of Arkansas, Tyson Foods, and Walmart....

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  7. Mar 21, 2011 05:20 PM

    This Land Press

    Place-based literary journalism in and about Oklahoma

    By Michael Meyer

    this_land_press.png TULSA, OKLAHOMA — Earlier this month, This Land Press published the latest installment in its ongoing coverage of Bradley Manning, the army private accused of providing thousands of pages of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The story, by newly minted This Land staff reporter Denver Nicks, looks at a formative period of Manning's life through the eyes of Jordan Davis, Manning's best friend from elementary school. At that time, Manning had been kicked out of his father's home and drifted on...

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  8. Mar 11, 2011 03:51 PM

    Lexington Commons

    A voice for Lexington's nonprofit organizations

    By Georgia Schoonmaker

    Lexington.Commons.png LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY — The tagline on the Lexington Commons homepage defines the site as "The Voice of Lexington," which is quite appropriate, considering it is written entirely by volunteer citizens of the city and its surrounding suburbs. Because of this, all of the stories featured have a very personal feel. Much of the site's content deals with the local nonprofit sector--"Celebrating Nonprofit Organizations and Volunteers!", a permanent banner headline on the homepage blares--but local government and business also get considerable...

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  9. Mar 11, 2011 11:11 AM

    Inner City Press

    A one-man show reporting on the United Nations

    By Armin Rosen

    Inner.City.Press.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Every weekday at noon, a spokesperson for the United Nations briefs the media in the auditorium at the Dag Hammarskjold library, just adjacent to the world body's towering Secretariat building in New York. And every weekday, Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press is there, asking about topics that no other member of the press corps will touch. His website is starkly organized, with a look that brings to mind early Geocities pages and the...

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  10. Feb 23, 2011 06:32 PM

    Honolulu Civil Beat

    A journalistic "civic square"

    By Alex Fekula

    honolulu_civil_beat.png HONOLULU, HAWAII — Honolulu Civil Beat is the brainchild of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and former eBay exec Randy Ching, both of whom attended high school in the Aloha State. The pair shared a common goal, in Omidyar's words, of "empowering citizens and encouraging greater civic participation through media." In keeping with this mission, they envisioned a site that considered audience participation to be as important as reporting stories. The pair enlisted John Temple, the former (and final) editor of...

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  11. Feb 18, 2011 12:29 PM

    Great Lakes Echo

    Sharp science news with a sense of humor

    By Justin Yang

    great_lakes_echo.png EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN — Residents of the Great Lakes region have one publication to thank for their understanding of the menace that is the zebra mussel, clogger of power plant intake pipes. That publication is the Great Lakes Echo. A project of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, the Echo aims to build environmental awareness of the Great Lakes region. Founded in 2008, the site's staff primarily consists of four to five graduate assistants who work...

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  12. Feb 3, 2011 05:14 PM

    Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

    A pioneer bilingual investigative nonprofit

    By Justin Yang

    fcir.png MIAMI, FLORIDA — When the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR) received a $100,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in September of 2010, it marked the launch of Florida's first nonprofit bilingual online investigative reporting organization. Located at the International Media Center at Florida International University, FCIR is emerging as a leader in investigative news and an innovator in bringing relevant information on government corruption and waste to the state's Spanish-speaking communities. Read more about...

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  13. Jan 21, 2011 03:25 PM

    Portland Afoot

    Portland-based transportation advocacy

    By Alex Fekula

    portland.afoot.png PORTLAND, OREGON — In a culture where the car is often the primary mode of transportation, the web/print hybrid Portland Afoot has set out to inform Portland citizens about the wide world of transportation alternatives. After leaving his job as a reporter for The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., founder Michael Andersen felt that he could attract a devoted audience for a new journalism venture by providing locally focused coverage of an under-reported niche topic. In June of 2010, Andersen established...

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  14. Jan 17, 2011 11:46 AM

    The Daily Caller

    Tucker Carlson and co.'s political reporting startup

    By Michael Meyer

    dailycaller.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — "My politics are relatively well known," conservative media personality Tucker Carlson told CJR in February of 2010, not long after he and former Dick Cheney aide Neil Patel launched political news site The Daily Caller. "But this site is not a pure distillation of my politics. My views are not interesting enough to sustain the company we're building." Read more about The Daily Caller Since that time, the Caller's editor-in-chief has made good on his...

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  15. Jan 5, 2011 08:47 PM

    DoD Buzz

    A (mostly) one-man show reporting on the Pentagon

    By Michael Meyer

    dodbuzz.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — Structurally speaking, DoD Buzz is little more than a personal blog dressed up as a full-on news publication. The remarkable thing is that, were it not for more than three-quarters of the stories on the site having the same byline, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. That's true in terms of volume and quality of content, anyway. In other ways, DoDB does have the voice and personality of a one-person product, at least...

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