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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

  1. Results

    Organizations filtered by Knight Foundation.

  1. Mar 20, 2012 01:30 PM

    Borderzine.com

    Bilingual reporting by Latino college journalists

    By Tom Marcinko

    borderzine.com.png EL PASO, TEXAS — Borderzine.com director Zita Arocha founded the site at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with two goals. "One is to tell the unreported stories of the [U.S.-Mexico] border region, which mainstream media doesn't do very well," says Arocha, a senior lecturer in journalism at UTEP. The second is to create "a pipeline" into the journalism profession...

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  2. Jan 11, 2012 04:06 PM

    Brown Line Media

    An independently owned network of three sites reporting on Chicago's North Side

    By Ian Fullerton

    brown.line.media.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Though he writes a vast majority of the posts on his flagship news site, Center Square Journal, Mike Fourcher prefers the title of publisher over journalist. "That's an important distinction," he says. "I do employ journalists... but the person that runs a baseball bat company is not a carpenter." A native Chicagoan, Fourcher launched Center Square in early 2010, after...

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  3. Dec 30, 2010 02:09 PM

    California Watch

    A watchdog for the Golden State

    By Colin Fleming

    californiawatch.png BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — In less than two years, California Watch has become a force in American journalism, distributing its content to over eighty different publications and operating with the biggest investigative team in the state. Launched in 2009 as a facet of the Center for Investigative Reporting, California Watch dedicates itself to "high-impact reporting" on health, education, ecology, politics, and public safety....

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  4. Jan 5, 2011 06:54 PM

    Center For Investigative Reporting

    Old-school investigative nonprofit takes to the web

    By Colin Fleming

    centerinvesreport.png BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — In the world of American investigative nonprofits, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the oldest and one of the best recognized. Founded in 1977 by a small group of investigative reporters, CIR has grown considerably since, amassing numerous awards. It now employs a full-time staff of twenty and works with an annual budget of over $4 million. CIR has broken stories...

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  5. Feb 23, 2012 05:33 PM

    Charlottesville Tomorrow

    Nonprofit news on growth, development, and local politics

    By Caitlin Kasunich

    charlottesville.tomorrow.png CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA — Although Charlottesville Tomorrow publishes a new story almost every day and has a close partnership with the local newspaper, it wasn't supposed to turn out that way. In early 2005, its founders simply wanted to launch a website that citizens could visit for objective, nonpartisan information on growth, development and local politics. "We set out to just be a community...

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  6. 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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  7. May 18, 2011 12:59 PM

    Crosscut.com

    Robust nonprofit local news coverage for Seattle

    By Sara Germano

    crosscutcom.png SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — David Brewster couldn't have been the only Seattle citizen concerned about the potential demise of one of his local papers, but back in the mid-aughts, he was ahead of the curve. In 2006, Brewster, a thirty-five-year veteran of the local media landscape and the founder of alternative newspaper Seattle Weekly, was phasing out of his role as director of Town Hall Seattle, a...

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  8. 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...

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  9. Jul 27, 2011 02:48 PM

    Gotham Gazette

    Detailed reporting on New York City governance

    By Connor Boals

    GothamGazette.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — It's no secret that many Americans are shamefully uninformed about their elected representatives, particularly at the local level. The blame for this can often go as much to local press as to citizens themselves, but thanks to Gotham Gazette, an online source for what's happening in the world of NYC government, citizens of the nation's largest metropolis will...

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  10. 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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  11. Jan 4, 2011 01:59 PM

    I-News

    Colorado investigative journalism with statewide import and local impact

    By Colin Fleming

    rkymtninvestigate.png DENVER, COLORADO — On December 16, 2010, Laura Frank, the executive director of I-News (formerly known as the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network), delivered her commencement speech for the University of Colorado's soon-to-be-defunct journalism school. Frank was optimistic about the future of the industry: "I now recognize you actually are embarking on this adventure at one of the most exciting times - perhaps...

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  12. 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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  13. Jan 3, 2011 06:21 PM

    Investigative Reporting Workshop

    Multimedia reporting in a university setting

    By Colin Fleming

    investreportwkshp.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop is one of sixteen university-based investigative journalism centers, but the only one in the nation's capital. Founded in 2008 by Charles Lewis and Wendell Cochran, both veteran journalists and professors at the university, the Workshop produces original reporting and mentors the next generation of investigative journalists. This dual mandate creates a unique newsroom; undergraduate...

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  14. 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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  15. Jan 5, 2011 04:53 PM

    MinnPost

    The Twin Cities startup is seeking loyal readers for hard news

    By Chris Benz

    minnpost.png MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab calls MinnPost founder Joel Kramer "one of the brightest stars in the news-startup firmament." The former editor and publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kramer started his nonprofit in 2007 with a rolodex of veteran journalists to whom he offered freelance work, and $1.2 million dollars in commitments from foundations and private donors. This was...

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  16. 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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  17. Sep 26, 2011 11:27 AM

    New America Media

    A news wire (and much more) for America's ethnic press

    By Lauren Kirchner

    NewAmericanMedia.png SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — In 1969, historian Franz Schurmann and journalist Orville Schell founded Pacific News Service to provide an alternative news source about U.S. military actions abroad. Four decades later, a descendant of that project continues the mission of supplementing the American mainstream press with news it wouldn't get otherwise--but this initiative seeks to inform by crossing linguistic, rather than geographic, borders. <!-- OPEN...

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  18. Jan 4, 2011 01:33 PM

    New England Center for Investigative Reporting

    Hard-hitting investigations in and around the Boston area

    By Colin Fleming

    newenglandcir.png BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — In less than two years and with an annual budget of less than $500,000, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has taken on the state division of banks and the Salvation Army. They've brought down a high-level public official, and had their work appear in publications across the state and in every medium imaginable. And they've...

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  19. Recently Updated: Jun 28, 2011 01:18 PM

    New Haven Independent

    Connecticut-based leader in nonprofit community news

    By Arvin Temkar

    new_haven_independent.png NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT — The nonprofit New Haven Independent, which has been delivering serious-minded local news to residents of New Haven, Conn., and the surrounding area since 2005, takes a lot of pride in how it interacts with the community. In fact, the site's editor maintains that its readers are as integral to the editorial process as its reporters. "Our readers do our typos,"...

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  20. Dec 29, 2010 03:17 PM

    NJ Spotlight

    Trenton's statehouse startup

    By Lauren Kirchner

    NJ_Spotlight.png TRENTON, NEW JERSEY — NJSpotlight.com, which CJR profiled in September 2010, is a policy-focused news site based in the Trenton, N.J. state house. Launched in early 2010 by two former Newark Star-Ledger reporters, John Mooney and Tom Johnson, the site focuses on issues relating to the state budget, environmental and energy legislation, education policy, and health care. "We are nonpartisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded," says...

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  21. Jan 27, 2012 11:55 AM

    NOWCastSA

    Multimedia community news for San Antonio, Texas

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    NOWCastSA.png SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — This spring, San Antonio residents will vote on a five-year, $596 million bond package intended to upgrade the city's infrastructure. The package includes 140 projects across the city, such as improvements to parks, sidewalks, and drainage facilities. Until they go to the polls on May 12, citizens who want to learn details about these projects can visit NOWCastSA.com, an...

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  22. Mar 24, 2011 12:49 PM

    Oklahoma Watch

    An investigative nonprofit for the Sooner State

    By Brendan Buhler

    Oklahoma.Watch.png NORMAN, OKLAHOMA — Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit investigative reporting website launched in December 2010 under editor Tom Lindley, a veteran of the state's two major daily papers, the Oklahoman and the Tulsa World--credentials that Lindley says got him the job, as the two papers share resources with Oklahoma Watch and the editors of both papers sit on its executive board. Lindley says Oklahoma...

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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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...

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  26. 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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  27. 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...

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  28. 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,...

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  29. Mar 24, 2011 11:35 AM

    The Florida Independent (Defunct)

    Legislative watchdogging and more

    By Chris Benz

    The.Florida.Independent.png TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — [UPDATE:The Florida Independent was closed by its parent, the American Independent News Network, on April 27, 2011, just before the site's second birthday. CJR's detailed profile of AINN's refocusing on a national audience after shutting down all but one of its state sites can be found here.] Launched in May 2010 with a $352,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, <a href="http://floridaindependent.com/"...

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  30. 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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  31. Mar 24, 2011 12:20 PM

    The Lens

    Investigative reporting on The Big Easy

    By Brendan Buhler

    The.Lens.png NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — Launched in January 2010, The Lens is an eight-person nonprofit investigative news website partnered with weekly papers and a local television station in New Orleans. The site aims to fill the gaps that are no longer being covered by New Orleans's cash-strapped traditional news operations. Right now, The Lens's goal is to produce big, investigative stories every two weeks, and...

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  32. Apr 20, 2012 06:22 PM

    The Local East Village

    NYU student reporting for the NYT

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    east.vallage.local.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — In 2009, The New York Times made drastic changes in its approach to local news. The year saw the closure of the papers City section, but also the launch of The Local. A web-based hyperlocal reporting initiative, The Local created two separate sections of nytimes.com: one devoted to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene and...

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  33. Mar 12, 2012 01:58 PM

    The New York World

    Accountability journalism from recent Columbia J-School alums

    By Tom Marcinko

    the.new.york.world.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Last October 18, the day The New York World went live with a mission to expand journalism education and hold local and state governments accountable, editor Alyssa Katz posted a story by World reporter Sasha Chavkin about a private bus line in Brooklyn that ran a city bus route under a franchise agreement. Despite being open...

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  34. May 19, 2011 04:01 PM

    The News Outlet

    College students report local news for northeastern Ohio

    By Connor Boals

    the_news_outlet.png YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO — Faced with an increase in journalism majors and the general decay of legacy media coverage in the Mahoning Valley region of northern Ohio, Youngstown State University journalism professors Alyssa Lenhoff and Tim Francisco created The News Outlet, a collaborative effort between the university and several local media outlets. The founders hoped the site's journalism would not only fill a hole in local...

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  35. Jan 14, 2011 12:47 PM

    The Rapidian

    Grand Rapids-based citizen journalism

    By Alex Fekula

    rapidian.png GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Grand Rapids-based The Rapidian takes the concept of grassroots citizen journalism to heart. A community-wide project, operating under a for-us/by-us ethos, The Rapidian was created by the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, a nonprofit media and technology support organization for the Grand Rapids area. The Center began as a public access television station, and currently operates two television stations, a noncommercial...

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  36. Dec 29, 2010 02:01 PM

    The St. Louis Beacon

    "News that matters" for St. Louis

    By Kathy Gilsinan

    stlbeacon.png St. LOUIS, MISSOURI — Margaret Freivogel's thirty-four years as a reporter and editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch came to an end when she took a buyout in 2005. "Several of us took buyouts without any intention of doing anything else at that point," Freivogel says. "We were just kind of weary." But within a year, Freivogel and a few former colleagues had begun work on...

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  37. Jan 4, 2011 05:48 PM

    The Texas Tribune

    Political reporting and investigations for the Lone Star State

    By Justin Yang

    texas.tribune.png AUSTIN, TEXAS — The Texas Tribune, which writer Jake Batsell profiled for CJR in July 2010, focuses on state politics, government, and investigative reporting, and prides itself on finding innovative ways of presenting the news to an increasingly expanding audience. The nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization has helped redefine online journalism and extended its goals of civic engagement far beyond the Internet. ...

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  38. 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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  39. Oct 26, 2011 05:27 PM

    Village Soup

    A small media chain blends print and digital local journalism

    By Lauren Kirchner

    village.soup.png ROCKLAND, MAINE — [UPDATE: On Friday March 9, 2012 Village Soup president Richard M. Anderson announced the closure of all Village Soup publications. In a story announcing that the company's properties would be sold at auction, the Bangor Daily News reported that Village Net Media, the Village Soup parent company, faced two outstanding loans from the First National Bank of Damariscotta. The initial...

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  40. Jan 5, 2011 05:30 PM

    voiceofsandiego.org

    A nonprofit news innovator in Southern California

    By David Downs

    voiceofsandiego.png SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA — Exposing the darker side of a sunny beach city, the six-year-old news site Voice of San Diego is having a larger influence than its small size might suggest. With 170,000 unique visitors a month, the nationally renowned nonprofit has an annual budget of $1.2 million (mostly from grants), a slim staff of fifteen, and a content-sharing deal with NBC...

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  41. 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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  42. Jul 11, 2011 01:18 PM

    Watchdog New England

    A catalyst for investigative reporting in Boston and beyond

    By Isaac Olson

    watchdog_new_england.png BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Watchdog New England, the website of the nonprofit Initiative for Investigative Reporting at Northeastern University, aims to revive and strengthen investigative reporting throughout New England's six states--not as a news outlet in its own right, but as an ally to the region's more than eighty daily newspapers and countless weeklies. For now, the site primarily exists as a compendium of links to...

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  43. Jan 5, 2011 07:19 PM

    WyoFile

    Enterprise reporting for the Equality State

    By Alex Fekula

    wyofile.png CASPER, WY — [UPDATE: On September 5, 2012, the Knight Foundation announced that WyoFile was yet again a recipient of its Community Information Challenge Grant. The site received $62,000 from Knight and an equal amount from the Wyoming Community Foundation. It will hire one full-time reporter dedicated to the Wyoming Legislature and one part-time minority reporter, who will cover the Wind River Indian Reservation.]...

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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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