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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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  1. Oct 26, 2011 06:00 PM

    Berkeleyside

    News and notes from California's most quotable town

    By Daniel Luzer

    Berkeleyside.png BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — Frances Dinkelspiel had worked as a journalist for two decades--reporting for the Syracuse Newspapers and the San Jose Mercury News--before she and two other colleagues started Berkeleyside.com. In Dinkelspiel's opinion, Berkeley is too interesting a city not to have its own hyperlocal news site. "The University of California's here, it has this really long liberal radical political tradition, it's the...

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  2. Jan 28, 2012 01:43 PM

    CHARLIE Magazine

    Perfecting the local online glossy in Charleston, South Carolina

    By Chris Benz

    charlie.magazine.png CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — "When you start something, what your role ends up being is quite different than what you imagined it to be," says Caroline Nuttall, founder of CHARLIE, a local culture magazine based in Charleston, South Carolina. Originally a publicist, Nuttall founded the website in 2009, and expanded it successfully to a niche market, profitability, and a part-time staff of...

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  3. Jun 20, 2012 12:52 PM

    Chicago Phoenix

    Chicago LGBT media goes digital (and grows up)

    By Ian Fullerton

    chicago.phoenix.png CHICAGO, IL — Gay media in Chicago has struggled in its search for identity. In recent years, two of the city's most prominent LGBT publications, Gay Chicago Magazine and the Chicago Free Press, shut down after transitioning from the traditional "bar rag" format, with content centered on entertainment and sex culture, to a more issue-related news and features focus. Some observers speculated that revenue problems...

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Mar 28, 2011 01:43 AM

    Education News Colorado

    The "paper of record" for Colorado education policymaking

    By Dohini Patel

    education.news.colorado.png DENVER, COLORADO — Education News Colorado is an online-only news site devoted exclusively to in-depth coverage of Colorado state education news and policy. The site began operating in its present form in 2008, but can trace its roots back to Headfirst Colorado, a state-wide quarterly print magazine that, until current EdNews publisher Alan Gottlieb came aboard in 2006, would have been more accurately described...

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  7. 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...

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  8. 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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  9. Sep 20, 2011 02:23 PM

    Open Media Boston

    Boston news and progressive commentary

    By Evan MacDonald

    openmediaboston.png BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — About five years ago, Jason Pramas identified what he calls a "metropolitan news vacuum" in Boston. He noticed that local news outlets were focusing more on beats like entertainment and sports than on local issues like labor strikes, social injustice, and community news. At the time, Pramas was a Ph.D candidate in public policy at the University of Massachusetts-Boston with an acute...

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  10. 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...

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  11. Jan 3, 2011 05:34 PM

    Salon

    The general interest online magazine has learned to get specific

    By Sean Gandert

    salon.png SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Just because Salon is the oldest general interest publication on the Internet doesn't mean that it's been standing still. Founded in 1995 as a web journalism alternative, producing articles as intelligent and well-written as its peers in print, the website's path has been bumpy, but it is still recognizably the same outlet that first appeared over fifteen years ago. The...

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  12. 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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  13. 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...

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  14. 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...

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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. 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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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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