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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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  1. Jan 19, 2011 04:42 PM

    The Locust Fork News-Journal

    A one-man purveyor of mobile journalism performance art

    By Michael Meyer

    locust.fork.news-journal.png BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — The Locust Fork News-Journal, like many websites, is wholly devoted to the quirks, whims, emotions, and talents of its founder--in this case, a former newspaper reporter and self-proclaimed champion of the "independent watchdog Web press" named Glynn Wilson. Unlike most sites (including many owned by the "corporate media" Wilson rails against) the News-Journal is stable and profitable--a testament to what can...

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  2. Jun 30, 2011 11:50 AM

    The Los Angeles Review of Books

    A book review section for a post-print age

    By Lauren Kirchner

    the_los_angeles_review_of_books.png LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Tom Lutz, nonfiction author and creative writing professor, offers a startling statistic about the book business on his new website: "twenty times as many titles are published each year than were in 1980, and we have one twentieth of the serious book reviews." The Los Angeles Review of Books, an online magazine launched by Lutz in April 2011, is his...

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  3. Oct 21, 2011 10:57 AM

    The Manomet Current

    Hyperlocal news for two Plymouth, Mass. neighborhoods

    By Alex Fekula

    manomet.current.png PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS — In addition to being the landing point of the Mayflower, the birthplace of Thanksgiving, and the home of a notorious rock, Plymouth, Mass. also houses the seaside village of Manomet, a neighborhood within Plymouth proper. Online news source The Manomet Current hopes to provide hyperlocal news for both Manomet and neighboring Pinehills. The site's stated goal is to "tell...

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  4. Oct 31, 2011 02:50 PM

    The Natomas Buzz

    Hyperlocal news for a Sacramento, Calif. community

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    the.natomas.buzz.png SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — In June of 2008, journalist Brandy Tuzon Boyd was scrolling through daily crime reports in Natomas, a community in northwest Sacramento, when she noticed something alarming--a spate of home invasions in which residents were being robbed in their garages. Tuzon Boyd reported the trend on her then-fledgling website The Natomas Buzz. "Is anyone else noticing this happening almost every other...

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Sep 4, 2012 12:24 AM

    The Outer Banks Voice

    Online-only news for the North Carolina coastline

    By Chase Scheinbaum

    the.outer.banks.voice.png NAGS HEAD, NC — In August 2011, when Hurricane Irene menaced the Eastern seaboard, The Outer Banks Voice was less than a year old. Drawing its name from a 200-mile ribbon of North Carolina's coastline, the online-only news source fed frequent updates to residents of this vulnerable area during the storm. The coverage was local, but clicks came from far and wide--many from...

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  8. Mar 24, 2011 04:42 PM

    The Post (Defunct)

    Social media gurus of South Dakota

    By Justin Yang

    The.Post.png SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA — [Editor's note: The Post ceased publication in July 2011. A note on the site in late 2011 and early 2012 promised a relaunch, but it never materialized. The site is down, but was last captured by the Internet Archive in February 2012.] The Post, a story co-op site in which a team of volunteers and staff create...

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  9. 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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  10. Dec 31, 2010 01:06 AM

    The Root

    A strong online presence for the African American press

    By Dohini Patel

    theroot.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT of COLUMBIA — Founded in 2008, The Root continues a long tradition of black-perspective journalism in America, reporting on social, cultural, and political issues through an African American lens. With the Quincy Jones-founded Vibe folding in 2009 before its rebirth as a quarterly, and Essence and others toughing it out in a shrinking magazine market, there's been a...

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  11. Sep 21, 2011 11:39 AM

    The Sacramento Press

    An ad network helps pay the bills for local news

    By Caitlin Kasunich

    SacramentoPress.png SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — Before October 2008, Ben Ilfeld and Geoff Samek, the founders of The Sacramento Press, had no journalism experience. In college, Ilfeld had studied economics and political science, while Samek had studied computer science. What the Sacramento natives did have in common, though, was a desire to develop a new website emphasizing reader discussion around local news and events. Before long,...

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  12. Oct 12, 2011 11:51 PM

    The Saginaw Valley Journal

    A for-profit campus news source

    By Alex Fekula

    SaginawValleyJournal.png UNIVERSITY CENTER, MICHIGAN — Pinned to the bulletin board at the editorial offices of the Saginaw Valley State University-based Saginaw Valley Journal is an article entitled "Leggings Aren't Pants!" An opinion piece featured in a rival campus-run newspaper, the article acts as a constant reminder for the Journal's editorial staff of "what not to do." Looking to provide the SVSU community with a...

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  13. Sep 15, 2011 11:13 AM

    The San Francisco Appeal

    An online newspaper for the Bay Area

    By Julia Pyper

    SfAppeal.png SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Eve Batey, editor and publisher of The San Francisco Appeal, thinks it's important to stick to the journalism basics. She says that a clean layout, good writing, and quality reporting are what drive a successful publication. SF Appeal has dubbed itself "San Francisco's Online Newspaper." The content is almost entirely locally focused--San Francisco news, culture and entertainment, food, weather,...

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  14. Mar 2, 2012 10:00 AM

    The Sanatoga Post

    A one-man news network in Pennsylvania

    By Erik Shilling

    the.sanatoga.post.png SANATOGA, PENNSYLVANIA — When Joseph Zlomek decided to go back into the news business in August 2008 and launch The Sanatoga Post, he drew inspiration from nostalgia. Zlomek had fond, decades-old memories of the Eagle Bulletin, a small weekly based in Fayetteville, N.Y., a suburb of Syracuse, near where he was raised. The paper, Zlomek says, was regularly the hottest read among townsfolk....

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  15. Jan 5, 2011 03:54 PM

    The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University

    The first university-based investigative nonprofit

    By Colin Fleming

    schuster.png WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS — In 2004, former Washington Post reporter Florence Graves founded The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, thereby creating the very first university-based investigative nonprofit. In less than seven years, The Schuster Institute has snatched up more than ten awards and had its work published everywhere from Foreign Policy to Good Housekeeping. It is also one of the few American...

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