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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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  1. Jan 13, 2012 11:47 AM

    Baltimore Brew

    Hard news for Charm City

    By Alex Fekula

    baltimore.brew.png BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — After seventeen years as a staff writer and reporter at The Washington Post, Fern Shen opted to take a buyout amid significant downsizing at the paper. But she wanted to stay in the news business, and felt that Baltimore, the city she called home throughout her time at the Post, needed "more journalistic boots on the ground," as well as "something more...

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  2. Nov 14, 2011 12:34 PM

    ChicagoTalks.org

    Student-reported, university-based community news

    By Ian Fullerton

    chicagotalksorg.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Shortly after launching what is now ChicagoTalks.org in 2006, Barbara Iverson realized that the project's original vision of enlisting citizen journalists to cover neighborhood beats just wasn't materializing. Originally pitched as a "meta-placelog" that would cover news in all fifty of the city's wards, the site received its initial funding from the school and through a grant from the start-up...

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  3. May 3, 2011 12:23 PM

    DavidsonNews.net

    Ambitious local news site for Davidson, N.C.

    By Justin Yang

    davidson_news_net.png DAVIDSON, NORTH CAROLINA — David Boraks, a veteran journalist of thirty years and long-time resident of Davidson, N.C., started DavidsonNews.net after returning from a year abroad in China and Taiwan. Upon returning home, Boraks found that staying updated on current news was not as easy as he had remembered, and so he started an online town newsletter. The newsletter soon evolved into a full-blown...

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  4. 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...

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  5. Jan 12, 2012 10:19 AM

    GrossePointeToday.com

    Nonprofit hyperlocal news in suburban Detroit

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    grossepointetoday.com.png GROSSE POINTE, MICHIGAN — When the 2010 Census was released, it revealed some interesting changes in the metro Detroit community of Grosse Pointe. Whereas in 2000 the non-white population of the area was marginal, in 2010 the percentage of minorities had risen steeply. The number of African Americans living in Grosse Pointe area, for instance, had increased by 300 percent. The online news site <a...

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  6. Apr 5, 2011 01:06 PM

    Intersections South Los Angeles

    USC students report on their neighboring communities

    By David Downs

    Intersections.png LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — When conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly needs a sparring partner on immigration issues, his producers occasionally turn to a totally under-the-radar nonprofit news site, Intersections South Los Angeles. The two-year-old site, a hybrid of hyperlocal reporting and user-generated news, runs on grant and university funds and operates out of the University of Southern California. Editor-in-chief Willa Seidenberg, a journalism...

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  7. 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!",...

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  8. Sep 16, 2011 11:16 AM

    MyEugene

    Community news and citizen journalism for Oregon's second city

    By Leah Binkovitz

    myeugene.png EUGENE, OREGON — Consider MyEugene your full-service hyperlocal news site in the second largest city in Oregon. If you're new to town and want to know where to buy dog food or recycle Styrofoam, just ask Jaculynn Peterson, MyEugene's founder and editor. Like many of MyEugene's readers, Peterson is not native to Eugene or the West Coast. But when she moved there in...

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  9. Jul 5, 2011 02:37 PM

    NEast Philly

    Neighborhood news for working-class Philadelphia

    By Alex Fekula

    NEastPhilly.png PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — While still an undergraduate journalism major at Temple University, Shannon McDonald launched the hyperlocal NEast Philly, an online only news source that provides daily coverage for the Northeast section of Philadelphia. In the site's own words, NEast Philly offers "daily news, analysis, multimedia, columns and commentary on everything that interests the proud, working-class neighborhoods of The NEast." <li...

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  10. Oct 20, 2011 11:41 AM

    Neighborhood Notes

    Hyperlocal news and advertising in Portland, Oregon

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    neighborhood.notes.png PORTLAND, OREGON — For hyperlocal news sites, one problem looms above all others: while demand for hyperlocal news is growing in communities around America, the small, location-specific audiences targeted by these sites often don't provide enough web traffic to support an advertising-based revenue model. Can hyperlocal sites become financially viable through other means? This is the problem Neighborhood Notes, a hyperlocal website serving...

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  11. Oct 24, 2011 04:44 PM

    Ocean Beach Bulletin

    Hyperlocal news for San Francisco's western edge

    By Alex Fekula

    OceanBeach.png SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — San Francisco is home to one of the largest urban beaches in the country, Ocean Beach. The surrounding neighborhoods, the Sunset and the Richmond District, resemble suburban sprawl more than a city, and are comprised mostly of families, surfers, and those seeking a quieter, less urban-intensive lifestyle. The Ocean Beach Bulletin provides hyperlocal coverage for this part of town,...

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  12. Mar 25, 2011 03:05 AM

    Philadelphia Neighborhoods

    Award-winning student journalism from Temple University

    By Daniel Denvir

    Philadelphia.Neighborhood.png PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — Philadelphia Neighborhoods is a news website reporting on the city's poor and working class neighborhoods, produced by undergraduate journalism students at Temple University. The site is part of Temple journalism's Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, which emphasizes two things deemed important for future journalists: hyper-local reporting and the ability to tell stories via text, photos, and video. <ul...

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  13. 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...

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  14. 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...

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  15. Jul 20, 2011 12:47 PM

    The Forum

    Local news for four small New Hampshire towns

    By Georgia Schoonmaker

    the_forum.png The.Forum.png DEERFIELD, NEW HAMPSHIRE — When Denise Greig and some colleagues founded New Hampshire-based digital newspaper The Forum in 2005, web-based journalism hadn't really made its way to the rural communities that it served. "When we took on [this project], we were explaining the Internet to our funders," laughs Greig, the current chair of The Forum's board of directors. Six years later, with The Forum...

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  16. Jun 7, 2011 11:27 AM

    Twin Cities Daily Planet

    Citizen-powered local news for Minneapolis and St. Paul

    By Armin Rosen

    twin_cities_daily_planet.png MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — The Twin Cities Daily Planet focuses on a combination of neighborhood-level news and coverage of progressive, social justice-related issues in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. But it wants to be more than just a news-gathering operation. The Daily Planet is just as committed to creating journalists--or, perhaps more accurately, citizens who engage with their communities through journalism--as it is to publishing them,...

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  17. Mar 25, 2011 03:09 AM

    VTDigger.org

    Deep coverage for the Green Mountain State

    By Daniel Luzer

    VT.Digger.png MONTPELIER, VERMONT — As the name suggests, VTDigger (pronounced "V.T. Digger," not "Vermont Digger") aims to provide deep coverage of local issues in the Green Mountain State. "I wanted to follow stories in-depth," explains Anne Galloway, the publication's editor-in-chief. "Not all of our stories are investigative; but we want them all to go deep." While it's not all hard-hitting political stories--the day after Christmas, Digger...

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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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