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CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

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  1. Jan 5, 2011 04:38 PM

    iWatch News (The Center for Public Integrity)

    Twenty years' worth of investigative journalism for the public welfare

    By Colin Fleming

    i.watch.png centerpubinteg.png WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — The Center for Public Integrity celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2010 with a YouTube video detailing its many accomplishments. The organization has won more than forty national journalism awards, pursued more than seventy major investigative projects, published sixteen books, and, perhaps most significantly, has been cited in print and electronic media more than 15,000 times. Now, the...

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  2. May 18, 2011 12:08 PM

    Jersey City Independent

    Eye-opening alternative news for a bedroom community on the Hudson

    By Sara Germano

    jersey_city_independent.png JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY — Unfortunately, it's not difficult to imagine how a city of nearly a quarter-million residents could be wanting for local news coverage these days. When that city exists in the shadow of media-manic Manhattan, that fate becomes even more understandable. Such was the case for Jersey City, a bedroom community located along the Hudson riverfront bordering the Big Apple, until a couple...

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  3. Mar 24, 2011 10:35 PM

    Journal Watchdog

    A print startup's bold online muckracking operation

    By Armin Rosen

    Journal.Watchdog.png GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA — The purpose of Journal Watchdog, an online news site launched in January of 2009 and based in Greenville, South Carolina, couldn't be any clearer: on the site's "About Us" page, the words "We are a watchdog website" are emblazoned in bold, twenty-four-point font, with a link to a page containing salaries of various state employees positioned just a couple inches...

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  4. Jan 19, 2012 03:19 PM

    Leimert Park Beat

    A hyperlocal news site and social network for a neighborhood in Los Angeles

    By Chasen Marshall

    leimert.park.beat.png LEIMERT PARK, CALIFORNIA — Eddie North-Hager moved to Leimert Park, an 11,000-person neighborhood in Los Angeles, because it was the type of community in which he wanted to raise his family. And yet whenever he read anything about the area in the news, it seemed that he encountered endless versions of the same negative story. "If you would search for things about the neighborhood online,...

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  5. 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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  6. Jan 5, 2011 07:50 PM

    LiveScience

    Science news at light speed

    By Brett Norman

    livescience.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — LiveScience cranks out a high-volume mix of newsy and fun science curios in its efforts to chase after the fickle attentions of Internet wayfarers. Readers are voting approval with their clicks--an impressive three million-plus uniques per month--and the site, with a full-time editorial staff of five, has the relatively rare distinction of being profitable. As part of a...

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  7. Nov 7, 2011 03:26 PM

    LocallyGrownNews.com

    A network of news sites devoted to local food coverage

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    locallygrownnews.com.png ELON, NORTH CAROLINA — Journalist Michelle Ferrier has been involved in creating online communities for over ten years, and was the editor of MytopiaCafe.com, a now-defunct hyperlocal news offering by the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Although MytopiaCafe gained a devoted following of 3,000 users, Ferrier argued in a 2009 piece for Poynter that the site was doomed from the beginning. In retrospect, Ferrier felt...

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  8. Jul 13, 2011 12:54 PM

    LymeLine

    Hyperlocal news for two small Connecticut towns

    By Mike Madden

    LymeLine.png OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT — Founded in 2003 by veteran publisher Jack Turner and now headed by news editor Olwen Logan, LymeLine had the humble beginnings one might expect for a site that covers two towns (Lyme and Old Lyme) with a combined population of fewer than 10,000. When Turner first decided to venture into the world of online journalism, paperless news had yet to...

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  9. Jan 4, 2011 01:20 PM

    Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting

    Filling the reporting gap in Maine's state capital

    By Colin Fleming

    maineinvestigative.png HALLOWELL, MAINE — As the number of reporters covering Maine state government dropped from twenty in 1989 to fewer than ten today, a wife-and-husband duo, two old-school reporters, stepped up. In 2010, Naomi Schalit, a former reporter and producer at Maine Public Radio, and John Christie, former president and publisher of Central Maine Newspapers, launched the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, a watchdog...

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  10. Oct 6, 2011 05:15 PM

    MediaStorm

    Multimedia outlet meets production house

    By Lauren Kirchner

    MediaStorm.png BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Above the cobblestone streets of Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood, the producers, engineers, and cinematographers of MediaStorm are producing some of the most arresting and moving stories online today. While side-stepping the news cycle in favor of more timeless features, their particular brand of multimedia narrative is attracting online viewers from 170 countries around the globe. It has also helped the...

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  11. Mar 15, 2013 11:47 AM

    Midway Messenger

    A university startup for a small town in Kentucky

    By Meredith Qualls

    Midway Messenger.png LEXINGTON, KY — Sometime during one of his daily commutes between his home in Frankfort and his job in Lexington, where he teaches journalism at the University of Kentucky, Al Cross had an idea. Between the two cities lies the aptly named Midway, a town with a census population of 1,647 that, at the time, was covered solely by the Woodford Sun,...

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  12. May 26, 2011 04:06 PM

    Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

    A one-man investigative unit in the heartland

    By Joel Meares

    MidwestCenter.png PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KANSAS — If you head to the "leadership" page of the website for the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting you will see profiles of an impressively large Board of Directors. There are professors and consultants and attorneys, all smiling into camera alongside slabs of striking qualifications. Under the heading "staff," though, you will find just one name: Mike Sherry. Sherry,...

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  13. Feb 2, 2012 02:47 PM

    Milford Live

    Hyperlocal news for a small town in Delaware

    By David Riedel

    milford.live.png MILFORD, DELAWARE — Dave Burris and Bryan Shupe grew up in Milford, Del., and later crossed paths while working on Republican campaigns. Burris had experience running a digital lifestyle magazine called Coastal Sussex Weekly and wanted to start a hyperlocal news site for Milford. He thought Shupe, who had become disillusioned by the negativity in politics and was ready to move on, would...

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  14. 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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  15. Mar 28, 2012 12:23 PM

    Mint Press News

    A privately financed international news startup in Minnesota

    By Leah Binkovitz

    mint.press.news.png MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — The coming of Mint Press was noted all over the journalism jobs boards. Touting its independent status and dedication to honest reporting, the site seemed to advertise for a new position every day: staff reporters, California and D.C. correspondents, and associate editors. Many of these positions remain open. Mint Press currently claims five staff writers and three paid writing interns;...

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