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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. Jan 30, 2012 03:07 PM

    The Arizona Guardian

    Niche political news for a state everyone's watching

    By Tom Marcinko

    the.arizona.guardian.png PHOENIX, ARIZONA — Arizona exports political news like other states produce oranges or cheese. When Democratic media consultant Bob Grossfeld and a handful of veteran journalists launched the Arizona Guardian web-based news service in January 2009, they were well aware they were setting up shop in a state with a lively political scene. And that was before Arizona's headline-making "show-me-your-papers" immigration bill, the recall of that bill's architect at the ballot box, the tragic shootings in Tucson, the US Justice...

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  2. Dec 12, 2011 11:24 AM

    The Austin Bulldog

    An investigative reporter in the Texas capital

    By Caitlin Kasunich

    the.austin.bulldog.png AUSTIN, TEXAS — In January of 2011, Ken Martin, the founder, editor, and publisher of The Austin Bulldog, an independent nonprofit investigative news website, got a tip from a prospective Austin city council candidate that council members were holding private meetings. The Texas Open Meetings Act prohibits private meetings for the purpose of deliberating on public business. And yet, on four of the council members' online calendars, Martin saw that such private meetings were regularly scheduled before every city council...

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  3. Jan 4, 2011 04:37 PM

    The Awl

    NYC-based cultural witticism from two Gawker alumni

    By Alex Fekula

    awl.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — The team at New York City-based The Awl has some advice for anybody waiting on some seed funding to launch their dream startup: don't wait. The Awl launched in early 2009 when founders Choire Sicha, Alex Balk, and David Cho set out to start their own site with little-to-no financing beyond their personal savings. It wasn't much, but "there wasn't really anywhere else we wanted to work," says Sicha. Read more about The Awl That...

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  4. May 10, 2011 04:29 PM

    The Batavian

    Small town news and innovation in local online advertising

    By Justin Yang

    the_batavian.png BATAVIA, NEW YORK — The Batavian began as an experimental project by GateHouse Media, a newspaper publisher with properties in twenty states. The company wanted to launch a community-oriented news website, and chose Batavia, N.Y. because of its proximity to the company's Fairport, N.Y. headquarters; an added bonus was that The Daily News, the local paper for Batavia and Genesee County, lacked a web presence. Howard Owens, then director of digital publishing for GateHouse, helped lead the project. The Batavian...

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  5. Recently Updated: Oct 27, 2011 02:56 PM

    The Bay Citizen

    Local civic journalism in the national spotlight

    By Lauren Kirchner

    bay.citizen.png SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — [UPDATE: In May 2012, the Bay Citizen merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, the oldest nonprofit investigative news organization in the United States and the parent of state-level investigative nonprofit California Watch. The merger allowed the organizations to expand their reporting resources, save money, and diversify their funding base. The merger brought together 75 staff members with a $10.5 million budget in 2012. As part of the merger, the Bay Citizen ended its partnership with...

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  6. May 26, 2011 01:28 PM

    The Beachwood Reporter

    A belligerently informed take on Chicago media, sports, and culture

    By Armin Rosen

    BeachwoodMedia.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In 2006, after fifteen years as a print journalist, including six years as a political reporter with Chicago Magazine, Steve Rhodes took the biggest gamble of his career. Frustrated with what he viewed as the magazine's obliviousness towards the Internet, he quit his job and threw all of his financial and journalistic resources behind his own online magazine, The Beachwood Reporter. Rhodes describes the site as "a bar's-eye view of Chicago," a reference to the site's origins....

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  7. Aug 9, 2011 10:58 AM

    The Big Lead

    From independent sports blog to corporate flagship

    By Erik Shilling

    the.big.lead.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — The Big Lead first entered the consciousness of the sports media world around 2006, when then-Kansas City Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock trashed a series of colleagues in a flame-throwing interview that, for a few days at least, lit up the Internet. Less than a year after that the site received a bigger, if more unlikely, boost after the ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd encouraged his listeners to crash the site by flooding it with...

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  8. Mar 31, 2011 11:40 AM

    The Bold Italic

    Gannett's bold move in consumer-oriented journalism

    By Kathy Gilsinan

    The.Bold.Italic.png SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — The Bold Italic is an experiment. Slickly designed but still in "beta," the Gannett-owned San Francisco website has an image-heavy layout, an alt-weekly feel, and a focus on helping its readers find new places to spend their free time. "It's not meant to replace anything" in the San Francisco print media, says Michael Maness, who, as Gannett's vice president of innovation and design, founded the site and directed its operations until leaving to become a vice...

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  9. Mar 15, 2012 11:41 AM

    The Brooklyn Ink

    Student reporting on Brooklyn and beyond

    By Tom Marcinko

    brooklyn.ink.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — At about 1:30am on Nov. 15, 2011, student reporters at The Brooklyn Ink received a tip that police would soon clear protestors from New York City's Zuccotti Park, the focal point of Occupy Wall Street. Rather than get their professors out of bed, the students jumped on the story, providing live coverage throughout the night and early morning. Read more about The Brooklyn Ink At 6:30am, Brooklyn Ink editor and Columbia University Graduate School of...

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  10. Jan 5, 2011 08:37 PM

    The Chicago News Cooperative

    Newspaper-style journalism for the Chicagoland area

    By Alex Fekula

    chicagonewscoop.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — [UPDATE: On February 20, 2012, Chicago News Cooperative editor and CEO James O'Shea announced that CNC was suspending its website, as well as its contributions to The New York Times, in order to " reassess our operations and determine if there is a more sustainable path to the future."] The Chicago News Cooperative was famously the first outside news organization to produce entire pages for The New York Times--but the deal was in the works before the...

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  11. May 25, 2011 01:04 PM

    The Connecticut Mirror

    Former Courant staffers step up to fill the state's hard news gap

    By David Downs

    The.CT.Mirror.png HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — A tiny, talented, maybe-a-bit-too-earnest team of ex-Hartford Courant staffers is trying to plug the glaring gaps in Connecticut's political coverage at CT Mirror, a sober-minded news startup that chases the sorts of in-depth, investigative political stories that the state's depleted legacy news organizations no longer have the resources to pursue. Working from the state capitol since January 2010, the nonprofit, non-partisan, independent news organization of five full-time editorial staffers chronicles the state's budgetary woes, school system reforms,...

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  12. Mar 24, 2011 04:14 PM

    The Dagger

    Sharp local reporting for Harford County, Md.

    By Alex Fekula

    The.Dagger.png BEL AIR, MARYLAND — Harford County, Maryland-based journalist Brian Goodman wanted to start a band. He had a name picked out: The Dagger. After plans for the band fizzled, Goodman decided to take the name and start a local news blog instead. The journalistic ensemble known as The Dagger officially debuted in April of 2007, and has since evolved into a popular alternative news resource for Harford County, attracting an audience upwards of 30,000 unique visitors a month in a...

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  13. 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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  14. Mar 24, 2011 10:39 PM

    The Daily Yonder

    Local rural news on a national level. Yes, you heard right.

    By Chris Benz

    Daily.Yonder.png WHITESBURG, KENTUCKY — The Daily Yonder strives towards a paradoxical mission: local news on a national level. The website covers rural news and rural issues, posting about one to four new articles a day. The Yonder's mission is to fill a local journalism void in rural areas, and to that end it allows small town papers to publish its content for free. The website is a project of the Center for Rural Strategies, a Kentucky-based nonprofit which advocates for rural...

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  15. Oct 24, 2011 11:24 AM

    The Faster Times

    Creative revenue earning from an online publication/writers' collective

    By Brett Norman

    the.faster.times.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — For a twenty-eight dollar "membership" in The Faster Times, you can get a critique of your dating profile by the publication's sex and dating expert, Meghan Pleticha. For $500, you can get a one-hour fencing lesson from Ken Mondschein, a research scholar at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, who writes about the politics of academia. Depending on where you live, the travel arrangements may cost a little more. Read more about The Faster...

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