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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. Aug 16, 2011 11:54 AM

    Planet Princeton

    One reporter goes from freelance to Facebook to hyperlocal

    By Leah Binkovitz

    PlanetPrinceton.png PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY — When friends and readers complained to Princeton-based reporter Krystal Knapp that they couldn't find her stories on NJ.com, a combined web presence for papers owned by Advance Publications in New Jersey, she decided to start her own site serving the city she loves. Knapp was, and continues to be, a freelancer for The Times of Trenton, but she wanted to give herself the opportunity to cover some of the local interest stories that couldn't find a...

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  2. Mar 25, 2011 03:02 AM

    PlanPhilly

    Reporting on urban planning and Philadelphia's changing neighborhoods

    By Daniel Denvir

    PlanPhilly.png PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — PlanPhilly is a news website providing in-depth coverage of the city's built environment. The site was launched in 2006 to cover the planning process for the Delaware River waterfront. PennPraxis, a planning consultancy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, asked journalist Matt Golas, former metro editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, to come in and give them some advice. He left with a job offer and a news website to create. Read more about PlanPhilly "After...

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  3. Oct 31, 2011 11:46 AM

    Plunderbund

    Ohio state politics from a progressive point of view

    By Alysia Santo

    plunderbund.png HAMILTON, OHIO — Like many political news sites, Plunderbund was born out of frustration. Ohio-based writer Eric Vessels had been disengaged from politics for years, but when President Bush was reelected in 2004, his apathy transformed into anger. "I realized I hadn't been an active part of doing anything to make the country go in the direction I wanted it to," says Vessels. "I couldn't sit back and complain about it without participating in the process." Read more about Plunderbund...

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  4. Feb 2, 2012 11:12 AM

    Plymouth Daily News

    Hyperlocal news for "America's hometown"

    By Caitlin Kasunich

    plymouth.daily.news.png PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS — For almost two decades, editor and publisher Walter Brooks and his family have run online media ventures in several Massachusetts communities. Starting in the early months of 1996, Brooks helped launch the online edition of the vacation guide Best Read Guide/Cape Cod. Just a year later, he started the hyperlocal news site CapeCodToday.com--an early example of the hyperlocal genre, which CJR profiled in 2011. Around 2000, Brooks and his wife, son, and daughter-in-law set up eCape.com as...

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  5. Jan 5, 2011 07:36 PM

    Politico

    The site that defined the twenty-four-hour news cycle

    By Joel Meares

    politico.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — On the night of the November 2010 midterms, as election results began trickling in, team Politico held a returns-watching gala at Washington, D.C.'s Newseum. It was the kind of lavish media event usually reserved for legacy media outlets--the Washington City Paper called the party "a throwback to the days when media companies actually made money... There were lamb chops, and sushi, and little cones of raw tuna topped with caviar"--and it might have been seen...

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  6. Recently Updated: Jan 3, 2011 05:17 PM

    PopMatters

    Pop culture criticism with an academic bent

    By Sean Gandert

    popmatters.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Back when the Internet was still the sole purview of academics and nerds, journalist Sarah Zupko, then working in marketing at Tribune Media Services, founded a site catering to those specific audiences. That site was not in fact PopMatters, but it was a progenitor of sorts, providing web links for researchers studying pop culture. During the years that followed, Zupko's interests shifted from content aggregation to content production, and in 1999 PopMatters was born, featuring in-depth cultural...

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  7. 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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  8. Dec 20, 2011 12:06 AM

    Prairie Village Post

    Hyperlocal news for three small Kansas City suburbs

    By Tyler Jones

    prairie.village.post.png PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KANSAS — On November 21, 2011, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback spoke to a group of high school students on the importance of being active in their government and community. Senior Emma Sullivan wasted no time in exercising her First Amendment rights when she tweeted: "Just made mean comments at gov Brownback and told him he sucked, in person. #heblowsalot." Brownback's communication staff flagged the tweet and notified the school program; Sullivan was sent to the principal's office where...

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  9. Mar 24, 2011 03:43 PM

    Prince of Petworth

    Purveyor of D.C. local news and oddities

    By Alex Fekula

    princeofpetworth.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — For the Prince of Petworth, a good stroll is the preferred way to travel. In his pre-blogging days, Dan Silverman would take long walks through the streets of Washington, D.C. and observe intriguing urban phenomena: a compelling bit of graffiti, a notable piece of architecture, a curious new business. Soon, however, merely observing such spectacles proved to be insufficient; so Silverman began to take the things he saw and channel them into his blog. Read...

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  10. Oct 11, 2011 10:00 AM

    Progress Illinois

    A labor-backed site providing original news and analysis beyond the mainstream

    By Nicolas Zimmerman

    progress.illinois.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — While the genesis of Progress Illinois dates back to 2006, the left-leaning news and commentary site officially launched in March 2008, riding a wave of national interest in Illinois politics propelled by then-senator Barack Obama's unlikely bid for the presidency. The spotlight on Illinois intensified further that year with ex-governor Rod Blagojevich's descent from up-and-coming progressive politician to perpetual punch line. It was a good time to be a fledgling Illinois-centric political news site. Read more about...

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  11. Jan 5, 2011 06:26 PM

    ProPublica

    The web's best-known muckraker

    By Colin Fleming

    propublica.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — In the world of investigative nonprofit news organizations, ProPublica is a giant. Its staff of nineteen reporters has broken big stories on everything from the lax supervision of British Petroleum to the dangers of drilling for natural gas. Founded in 2007 by Paul Steiger, former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, and Stephen Engelberg, a former managing editor of The Oregonian, ProPublica's official mandate is to produce investigative journalism in the public interest. Read...

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  12. Recently Updated: Jul 29, 2011 01:42 AM

    PubliCola

    Extensive political coverage for Seattle and Washington state

    By Alex Fekula

    Publicola.png SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — [UPDATE: After briefly ceasing operations in May 2012 due to "limited and inconsistent" ad revenue, Publicola was purchased in mid-June 2012 by SagaCity Media, owner of the Seattle Metropolitan magazine and other properties, for an undisclosed sum. The new web publication is called PubliCola at SeattleMet. Popular features like "Morning Fizz," "Afternoon Jolt," and and "ThinkTank" continue to be published, and Josh Feit, the site's founder and co-editor, and Erica Barnett, the site's co-editor and reporter, remain...

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  13. May 23, 2011 11:12 AM

    Quorum Report

    A pioneer in niche online coverage, reporting on Texas politics since 1998

    By Connor Boals

    quorum_report.png AUSTIN, TEXAS — Harvey Kronberg and his team at the Quorum Report are true Internet news frontiersmen. Kronberg, who has been covering Texas politics since 1989, purchased The Quorum Report, then a print-only political newsletter, in 1998, and within a year had turned the Report into an all-web news operation. Although he admits that he had to be convinced to go to the web ("Back in '98, the only people who had Internet connections were teenagers," he says. "My clientele...

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  14. Jan 23, 2012 12:21 PM

    redbankgreen

    Hyperlocal news for Red Bank, New Jersey

    By Erik Shilling

    redbankgreen.png RED BANK, NEW JERSEY — On June 1, 2006, when John T. Ward and his wife Trish Russoniello launched redbankgreen, a hyperlocal news site for Red Bank, New Jersey, Ward says that he had little idea what to expect. With the help of Russoniello, a graphic artist, Ward had designed a bare-bones website on Typepad, and, the morning of the launch, e-mailed a few friends about his new venture. By day's end there had been a modest 300 hits, but...

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  15. May 20, 2011 12:13 PM

    Remapping Debate

    An NYC-based site that seeks to throw a wrench in conventional wisdom on public policy

    By Isaac Olson

    remapping_debate.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Armed with flexible hypotheses rather than fill-in-the-blank assumptions, the public policy focused e-journal Remapping Debate aims to cut through the all-too-common political smokescreen to expose the true motivations behind--and the aftereffects of--top-level decision making, political or otherwise. Be it digging into the true cost of social security or taking a well-rounded look at proposed healthcare reform, Remapping Debate, launched in October 2010, asks and answers both "why" and "why not" questions in meaty, unflinching articles....

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