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Niche News Organizations
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Web-based Niche News Sites and Networks
Web-based and Web-first niche news sites and networks. They are not the mass-media sites of metro newspapers, magazines, television or radio news. However, Web-based/Web-first niche sites started by traditional media organizations (e.g., Gannett's MomsLikeMe and Lawrence Journal-World's WellCommons.com or KUSports) are included.
Formats -- Range from blog (i.e., WordPress blog, Typepad blog, etc.) to complex content management system (Django, Drupal, Plone, etc.).
Funding -- Those marked with an *asterisk* are ad-supported (Marketwatch, WestSeattleBlog) in whole or part. Others are sponsored, funded (by self or others), or some combination. At least one is a syndicate that sells content to other news sites.
Coverage -- Contributors, owners, etc. do full- or part-time original reporting or edit others who are doing so. Sites provide regular or full-time coverage of identified niche.
Social networking -- Minimum is comments on posts. The maximum is integrating a social network into the site or network.
Networks - National
Abrams Media Network
- Founded by Dan Abrams, a network that includes Mediaite, SportsGrid.com, Gossipcop.com, Geekosystem.com, and Styleite.com. In April 2010, Mediaite had 1.3 million uniques and 5 million page views. Here's more about it
According to a Dec. 10, 2010
article in the NYTimes
, Abrams is planning on launching three more sites in 2011.
American Independent News Network
- Founded in 2006 by David Bennahum, founding writer at Wired, as the nonprofit Center for Independent Media, it changed its name in 2010. It began operations in Colorado and Minnesota with local funding from people and foundations in those states. From its About section: In May 2007, the CIM launched its third program, in Iowa. In September 2007, the Center launched its fourth program, in Michigan. A national program, based in Washington, D.C., was launched in January 2008, followed by a New Mexico program in April 2008 and another in Florida. In January 2010, CIM changed its name to The American Independent News Network to better reflect its mission as an online news network. The American Independent News Network investigates and disseminates news that impacts public debate and advances the common good....Our reporting emphasizes the positive role of democratically elected government in securing the common good and social welfare, and the continuing benefits of our founding culture of egalitarian government by the people, for the people. One of its sites,
The Washington Independent,
closed its doors on 11/17/10, after
nearly a three-year run.
It was trying to be a national news site in an niche news era. Now there are nine sites within the network. Nov. 23, 2010,
Alan Mutter on cutbacks
at the network, and how nonprofit journalism is having a difficult time.
-- AOL's family of sites, including
, and 80 other sites.
AOL Blossoms as Print Retreats
in 8-16-09 NYTimes, which says that it employs more than 300 content producers. And here's
Howard Kurtz story in WashPost.
It also bought Patch.com, which is mushrooming community sites in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, San Francisco Bay Area, etc. At the end of 2010, it had launched more than 500 sites. Here's more on AOL's expansion into being a modern news media company by
adding social network entities ThingLabs and About.me.
- A network of 18,000 independent women bloggers covering 20 different topics reaching 14 million women a month; 2,700 blogs are part of an ad network. Founded in 2005 by Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins.
*Bloomberg -- The financial news service employs 2,400 journalists in 146 bureaus. It announce that it's hiring 100 journalists for a new site, BGov.com, in Washington, D.C.
Here's the Washington Post story.
Here's a much more detailed NYTimes story:
"Bloomberg plans a data service on the business of government"
From the article: Bloomberg Government is an information behemoth — a news aggregator, government contract database, Congressional staff directory and source for policy research and analysis all in one Web site. Unlike the Bloomberg financial information service, Bloomberg Government will not require separate hardware to operate. For $5,700 a year for each user (a discount will be available for government users), subscribers will be able to gain access to the system through their personal computers.
- Hundreds of millions of unique visitors use CBS Interactive's family of 15 sites that cover entertainment, tech, news, business and sports. They include CNET, BNET, ZDNet, Chow, NCAA.com, MaxPreps, Last.fm, and CBS College Sports, which itself contains separate sites covering Fantasy sports, the NFL, NBA, NHL, college football, college basketball, golf, SPIN, MaxPreps, horseracing, boxing, soccer, poker, tennis, and 230 college and university athletic sites.
- Former BusinessWeek and Fast Company editor John Byrne launched
Poets & Quants
, the first of about a dozen sites. The company calls it "the go-to place for serious applicants to the best MBA programs in the world." Here's an
article about it in Webnewser,
itself part of the WebMediaBrands network. According to the article, the next site C-Change plans to launch is "Slingshots for David", which the company says will "provide the tools, advice and inspiration to help entrepreneurs develop disruptive business models to slay the Goliaths in business."
-- A network for social issues. It aims to be leading destination online for issue-based news, commentary, and action. Ben Rattray, founder.
-- A network of national and city sites founded by Lockhart Steele that Includes
. Curbed covers real estate, and is in San Francisco, New York, The Hamptons, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Eater covers dining and drinking; Racked covers shopping; Gridskipper covers travel and leisure.
-- (The site will geotarget based on the location of your computer.) From the
Examiner.com advertising section:
"Examiner.com is one of the fastest growing websites for local news and information. Serving 234 U.S. markets and 6 Canadian markets, Examiner.com connects consumers with a premium blend of news and information from the best local sources. The site is segmented into city editions, offering geo-targeted banner advertising opportunities within the major metropolitan cities across the U.S. and Canada. Banner ad campaigns may also be targeted to 25 content categories such as Sports, Arts & Entertainment, Business & Finance, and Gadgets & Tech. Banner ads can be targeted by city edition and content category, or in any combination. With over 13.8 million monthly unique visitors in July 2010, Examiner.com attracts an affluent, well-educated demographic." Examiner.com is run by Clarity Digital Group, owned by Philip Anschutz, and is separate from the Examiner newspapers published in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
MediaShift did a very interesting article
about Examiner.com in October 2010.
-- From Boing Boing to VentureBeat to WiFi Networking News to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, the media company networks 146 independent social media sites, which are seen by more than 50 million unique visitors each month, and does targeted advertising and marketing across the sites. The company received $50 million in venture capital funding last year. John Battelle, CEO and founder, wrote "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture".
-- From their "about" page: "FierceMarkets, a leader in B2B e-media, helps business marketers reach targeted decision-makers through our portfolio of email newsletters, websites, webinars, and live events focusing on the telecom, life sciences, healthcare, IT, and finance industries." They have 34 "titles". Their name comes from this Winston Churchill quote: "You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also
, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She was made to be wooed and won by youth."
-- One of the better-known and flashier networks, its eight sites --
(media, pop culture),
(celebrity, sex, women's fashion),
(tips and software for getting things done),
(science fiction) -- together have 20 million uniques a month. Here's an
in-depth profile of Nick Denton and Gawker,
from Michael Idov in Sept. 26, 2010 New York Magazine
-- About 1,100 publishers from fashion, beauty, living, celebrity & entertainment, lifestyle, health & wellness, shopping, teens & genY, men's lifestyle, tech and auto (the last three from the Brash Network, part of Glam Media). About 109 million unique visitors per month.
Click here for a directory of publishers.
Hearst Digital Media
- Besides the sites for its magazines (Redbook, Popular Mechanics, Cosmo, etc.), Hearst has acquired or launched online-only sites:
), The Daily Green (
), Delish (
, Donate My Dress (
), Kaboodle (
), Quick&Simple (
), RealAge (
), RealBeauty (
), TeenMag (
). According to
a news release
, they recently added
"an online resource center and community that helps people survive and thrive in the face of adversity including health, financial and family challenges. Ben Sherwood, a bestselling author and award-winning journalist, originally founded the site. His book, The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life, was published in January 2009 and became an instant New York Times best-seller."
*Implode-Explode Heavy Industries Inc. (IEHI)
Its properties include
. ml-implode.com (mortgage-lender implode) was founded on January 1, 2007, by Aaron Krowne, a blogger with a computer science and math background and an avid interest in economics and finance. The site says 100,000 individuals visit the site daily. In late 2007, Krowne and Justin Owings formed IEHI and started the other sites.
Here's more information about its history, from the ml-implode.com site
and from the
-- Founded in 1995, iVillage focuses on women through YourTotalHealth, NeverSayDiet, Momtourage, Astrology.com, and GardenWeb. It's owned by NBC Universal.
- A partnership between Proctor & Gamble and NBC Digital, the network aimed at boomers 45-64 years old comprises
MediaPost did a short take
on the launch of HealthGoesStrong on 6/21/10.
- From an email sent by an account director at TrylonSMR: "Main Street Connect is a national community news company started by CEO/editor/publisher Carll Tucker, the former editor and publisher of Trader Publications, a community news company which formerly produced The Patent Trader. Main Street specializes in hyperlocal news sites, but rather than the approach of companies like Patch.com (launch sites, hire local reporters, spend millions), Main Street is set up for local entrepreneurs to become affiliates of the company. With an initial investment (and after qualifying), Main Street helps affiliates set up their sites and work with them to launch profitable, hyperlocal news outlets that can attract local advertisers. Rather than use a “one size fits all” model, these sites grow organically from people who actually live there." As of 7/3/10, MainStreetConnect has 10 sites:
. For more information, see publisher Carll Tucker's
post on the genesis and plans
Here's an article about it from Editor & Publisher.
- MMC Network (formerly known as Mail.com Media Corporation) comprises
(with more than 14 million registered accounts) and niche news sites
, Bonnie Fuller's
. Founded by Jay Penske, the youngest son of auto racer and automotive executive Roger Penski.
NBC Digital/P&G Productions' "Life Goes Strong" network
article from 5/12/10 MediaPost
describes the partnership:
"NBC Digital and P&G productions started together in 2007 with Petside.com, a health and wellness site for pets, and partnered again last year with for DinnerTool.com, a recipe generator and meal planner." NYTimes did an article about
P&G's ManoftheHouse.com and other P&G sites on 1-12-2011
*NetShelter Technology Media
-- Launched in May 2006 with 12 sites, its more than 150 sites reach "9.3 percent of the total U.S. online audience, 17.7 million U.S. unique visitors and 50 million monthly unique visitors globally according to comScore", according to the NetShelter home page. Its "properties" cover the following areas: IS/IT management, consumer electronics, mobile, developer and games.
In September 2010, NetShelter received another $15 million
investment; they received $11 million in 2008.
NPR's Argo Network - From Staci Kramer's
article in Paid Content:
"..twelve sites hosted by 14 stations, each zeroing in on a topic of specific interest to that community relevance—local music in Philly, education and technology in the Bay Area, climate change on Cape Cod, New York state politics, the military in San Diego. Now another clock starts ticking: the pilot project is funded only through fiscal year 2011."
Here's the NPR news release;
the list of sites, cities and affiliated stations are at the bottom. The sites are:
. According to the Paid Content article, this is NPR's effort to build a local news network, along the lines of Patch.com, but focused on a topic.
-- Bought by AOL in 2009, Patch has 31 sites in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and is setting up shop in the San Francisco Bay Area (Feb. 2, 2010).
Here's an interesting look at Patch.com and its competitors on 8/16/2010, by Ken Doctor.
(Sportsblogs, Inc.) is a growing network of 248 online sports communities that recruits writers to report and manage templated sites that easily engage fans. Jim Bankoff, chairman & CEO, is a veteran of AOL. A NYTimes article 6/8/10 -
Sports-Centric web sites expand and bias is welcome.
In June 2010, SBNation announced that it was aggregating its sports blogs into 20 metropolitan networks. For the list, go to the
Dec. 20, 2010: WashingtonPost.com does article:
SBNation is 300 sites, and received a third round of venture capital. The $10.5 million from Khosla Ventures brings the total to $23 million. They aren't profitable yet.
, according to its Web site, is a publicly traded company headquartered in New York, NY, and is a global provider of information for creative, business and information technology professionals. It operates Mediabistro.com, Graphics.com, the online education site LearnNetwork, and Freelance Connect. In November 2009, it sold Internet.com, which employs 200 journalists, to QuinStreet Inc. for $18 million. In December 2009, it bought Social Times, which publishes SocialTimes.com, AllFacebook.com, and runs an annual conference called Social Ad Summit. Here's a
Dec. 14, 2009 article
in Online Media Daily. In November 2010, it bought
. One of its several properties,
, announced the purchase.
From the article
: "TVSpy, once known as Shoptalk, a pre-Internet newsletter covers news, job moves and gossip from local TV stations around the country. It will now become part of our fast-growing network of 18 blogs covering all areas of the media: including
Business - National
*24/7 Wall Street
-- financial news and opinion, founded by editors Douglas McIntyre and Jon Ogg.
- A nonprofit site funded by entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks. Part of a small network, including the for-profit
and the nonprofit
, whose imminent launch was announced in June 2010. ShareSleuth, according to the first sentence of its About page, "is an independent Web-based reporting aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery." JunketSleuth will focus on government travel. BailoutSleuth covers the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). More information about all three in this
American Journalism Review article.
It's interesting to note that all three are staffed by former legacy newspaper investigative reporters.
*The Business Insider
-- In early 2009, Silicon Alley Insider, Clusterstock, and The Biz merged to form The Business Insider. It covers finance, entertainment, green tech and the digital industry.
-- CLOSED. An IAC/Dow Jones joint venture, FiLife was a personal finance web community. It was closed in April 2010, and its 4.4 million unique visitors were redirected to Dow Jones' SmartMoney.
that after Ezra Kucharz, who built the site to the #4 personal finance site, left in January, "that growth evaporated almost immediately, dropping to 3.2 million in January and 3.08 million in February. It got worse.
By this March, according to numbers provided by comScore (
), FiLIfe.com was down to 322,000—a nearly 90 percent decline in just one month
." [emphasis added by PaidContent]
- Ad-supported financial news, founded in 1997 by Larry Kramer in a joint venture with CBS. Sold to Dow Jones in 2005 for $528 million.
- Ad-supported personal finance news, founded in 2009 by CBS Interactive.
See MediaPost article here,
which says that content is provided by MoneyWatch reporters, Reuters.com and Seeking Alpha; the site has partnerships with LinkedIn, Morningstar, Mint.com, BillShrink and StockTwits.
The Motley Fool
-- Financial services media company founded in 1993 whose revenues come from books, content syndication, subscription newsletter services, advertising on its Web site, and television appearances.
- Chris Kouba, formerly of the Virginian Pilot, is overseeing the launch as a consulting editor. From the site's about section: "...continuous business-news source for the rapidly changing Local Online Media industry. We're fascinated with the rapidly changing industry that includes online businesses from local newspapers, TV and radio stations, Yellow Pages and Internet pureplays, as well as local initiatives from many national media companies, including Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, ESPN, NPR and others. If you're one of more than 100,000 executives, managers and professionals working in Local Online Media, we hope to inform and inspire you with a continuously updated summary of your workday world."
- Started in early 2009 by two laid-off jurnos and a freelancer, affiliated with Federated Media.
Good overview on Editor Unleashed.
- A for-profit site funded by entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks. Part of a small network, including the nonprofit
and the nonprofit
, which was launched in October 2010. Here's an press release that appeared in
ShareSleuth, according to the first sentence of its About page, "is an independent Web-based reporting aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery." JunketSleuth will focus on government travel. BailoutSleuth covers the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). More information about all three in this
American Journalism Review article.
It's interesting to note that all three are staffed by former legacy newspaper investigative reporters.
*Silicon Valley Watcher
- Started five years ago by former Financial Times reporter Tom Foremski.
Crime - National
- Started in 1996 by former New York Daily News reporter Jerry Capeci. It's a paid-subscription site ($5/month, $45/year), but there's some advertising.
Education - National/Regional
- From Hechinger press release 5/10/10: "A new model of journalism that provides in-depth coverage of national education issues through a website and collaborations with other news organizations launched today. The Hechinger Report goes beyond daily events to explain, analyze, investigate and monitor trends in U.S. education." See
press release on Poynter.org.
Energy - National/Regional
-- network clearinghouse for news and opinion about peak global energy supply. Bart Anderson, co-editor.
Midwest Energy News
- From its site: "Midwest Energy News is a daily online guide to the best journalism available on energy subjects of special interest to readers in an eight-state region. It is produced by the Media Center at
, a nonprofit in Saint Paul, Minn., as a public information project for the RE-AMP network of more than 100 nonprofits and foundations in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Those organizations — including Fresh Energy — work together to transform the region’s energy sector into a model of clean, efficient and safe energy use, while reducing global warming pollution economy-wide 80% by 2050. Obviously that work includes public advocacy, and the Media Center provides training and logistical support for those efforts. Midwest Energy News, however, is not an advocacy endeavor. Its ambition is simply to make it easier for all readers — regardless of their special interests or policy preferences — to follow energy news and commentary in a challenging, fragmented media environment. Its contents are addressed to readers who want more substance and less spin, and have no trouble telling one from the other.
Here's an article
from MinnPost.com about it.
Entertainment - National
-- Interesting article about this site in
The New York Observer's Media Mob
: "The idea from the get-go was to create a gossip-free site that combined breaking news and analysis about movies, music and television with proprietary calendar technology, providing location-specific updates on entertainment events, such as movie premiers, DVD releases, and concerts." The organization received $1 million in private funding from angel investors in 2008, and was to receive another big chunk. It has 10 employees, is ad-supported, and hopes to be profitable within 12 months, according to the article, which was publishes 5/12/10.
- Bonnie Fuller, who formed her own media company after she left American Media last year,
was hired as editor in July 2009.
The site is owned by the Mail.com Media Corporation. (For more information, look in "networks" below.)
- News, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers that launched on July 15, 1996. Company founders sold the company to SnagFilms in 2008, and re-launched the site in January 2009. SnagFilms was founded by former AOL executive Ted Leonsis and is backed by AOL co-founder Steve Case and former AOL executive Miles Gilburne.
-- Founded in January 2009 by former New York Times Hollywood correspondent Sharon Waxman, the niche news site focuses on the business of entertainment and media. According to its about section, "TheWrap news organization is backed by Maveron, a venture capital firm based in Seattle, Washington and co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Dan Levitan."
Environment - National
- Environmental news and commentary, founded in 1999 by Chip Giller. Supported by foundations, reader contributions and advertising.
- Clean technology and sustainability, founded by John Gartner, former Wired editor, Michael Penwarden, former editor of MacWorld, and former Hewlett-Packard executive Curt Dowdy.
Mother Earth Journal
- From the about page: "A project of environmental news reporter Terri Hansen....Reporting climate change, violent storms, health, disease, and toxics, culture – in North American Indigenous communities."
Environment - Regional and State
-- Environmental news from state capital, Tallahassee, FL. Bruce Ritchie -- former reporter at the Tallahassee Democrat, the Gainesville Sun and the Florida Times-Union -- set up and does the reporting for this blog.
Green Building Chronicle
- Site set up by Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. From its "About" section: GreenBuildingChronicle.com is a new media organization dedicated to informing builders, planners, advocates, architects, trades people, educators, innovators, suppliers and anyone else engaged in environmentally sound construction — particularly in the Southeast. We aim not only to provide fresh, insightful information that’s relevant to the green building community, but also to provide a forum where members of the community can inform each other. Nonprofit now, but aims to be ad supported.
-- Nonprofit founded by five former Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporters and one fundraiser in July 2009, InvestigateWest focuses on investigative and narrative reporting on the environment, health and social justice in the Western U.S. and Canada.
, executive director and editor.
*The Phoenix Sun
-- Founded in 2009 by environmental journalist Osha Gray Davidson as a "news service covering solar power and related topics and based in Phoenix, Arizona, in the Sonoran desert."
Ethnic - National
- From its about section: "Euskal Kazeta is a website offering news for the global Basque community, with emphasis on the United States. We hope this will become your favorite website for anything Basque. We offer articles on Basque topics from all over the country and stories on many Basque personalities. The website began in June 2009. The team that puts together Euskal Kazeta plans to continue adding new features and stories, based on our readers requests. Eventually, we also hope to offer information in different languages."
Health - National
- From its web site: "FairWarning is an online, nonprofit publication that seeks to provide robust, public interest journalism on issues of health, safety and corporate conduct. Our mission is to arm consumers and workers with valuable information, and to spotlight reckless business practices and lax oversight by government agencies. We do this by producing original investigations on issues of vital importance, while offering a wide sweep of judicial opinions, legal and regulatory news, and reports from think tanks, advocacy groups and academic and professional journals." And
this article, in Nieman Labs
, written in March 2010, has more info.
- Lily Casura's blog about PTSD issues. From the About section: Veterans' issues, particularly social, medical and legal, PTSD in particular, integrative medicine, complementary and alternative medicine, treating PTSD with same.
- Health news syndicate, a division of ScoutNews, LLC, a Norwalk, Conn.-based news and information company. HealthDay's journalists and editors do articles that are licensed to media companies, hospitals, clinics, group practices, managed care organizations, publishers, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Barry Hoffman, founding editor.
Health - State
- From the site: "Health News Florida Inc., an independent online news service, is a not-for-profit journalistic enterprise that was launched in March 2007 (under the name Florida Health News Inc.) with seed money from foundations. Our mission: to inform the public on state and local health policy and finance issues as they develop. HNF is sponsored by the
**Florida Health Policy Center**
." Carol Gentry is the editor.
- From its Web site, this incomplete description: "HealthyCal.org is an independent, non-profit journalism project supported with initial funding from the California Endowment. The site’s mission is to inform Californians about public health and community health issues, to engage readers in an ongoing conversation about matters ranging from health care policy to land-use, transportation, environment, criminal justice and economic policy, and to show how all of these things are connected." It was launched February 2010 by Daniel Weintraub, long-time journalist and author. Here's
information from the Endowment's Web site.
- A nonprofit focused on Oregon health care. Its goal is "to educate you -- the consumer -- about this complex system, giving you the facts, analysis and action tools to make a difference." It accepts no money from the health care system, and no more than $1,000 from any one person or organization. From their "about" section: "The idea for The Lund Report grew out of discussions with people who became frustrated about the lack of critical and in-depth coverage of our healthcare system. The results of a survey conducted over the last several months indicated the strong need for such an endeavor. Over 700 Oregonians participated, with an overwhelming majority (77 percent) showing strong support. A cross-section of the community gave us their opinions – health industry professionals, public health leaders, state legislators, educators, lobbyists, scientists, attorneys, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and consumer advocates. People shared their concerns about our broken healthcare system. Their answers come as no surprise. The profit margins of the healthcare industry need to be curtailed, costs have become unaffordable, lobbyists exert too much influence on our elected officials and there needs to be more emphasis on chemical dependency and mental health services. People also want to know how other geographical regions are dealing with healthcare reform such as California, Washington, Canada and European countries."
-- Launched in January 2009, Global Post has 65 correspondents in 50 countries. Here's a
Nieman Labs post
about how they're doing. Co-founder Philip Balboni says they're on track to generate $1 million in revenue this year from advertising, syndication and paid subscriptions from their $50-a-year "Passport" premium service.
Juvenile Justice - State
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
- Nonprofit set up by Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. From their "About" section: The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is made up of people like you who are interested in doing what is best for at-risk children, the people who work with children, and the citizens of Georgia. Doing what’s best means staying well-informed about what’s going on in government, courts, schools, non-profit treatment and prevention programs, and following new research and initiatives that could benefit Georgia’s children and families.
Local - General
- Community blog about San Antonio, TX, Patricio Espinoza, publisher. Patricio@espimedia.com. This grew out of SA4Mayor.com, which covered the 2009 mayoral election.
- About Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mary Morgan, publisher. Dave Askins, editor.
- Ad-supported, about Montclair, Glen Ridge and Bloomfield, N.J., launched in May 2004 by Debbie Galant and Liz George.
- Publisher: Donald Morton "Doni" Glover.
- About Genesee County, New York, launched May 1, 2008 by GateHouse Media; Howard Owens, editor.
* Blue Ridge Muse
- Doug Thompson left the mountains to do journalism and a few other things, then returned to his roots in Floyd, VA to found the Muse.
- Striving to be ad-supported, about Seattle, Washington's, Capitol Hill neighborhood, launched Spring 2008 by Justin Carder.
- A locally funded local news site about growth & development. From its Web site : "Charlottesville Tomorrow is the trusted source of in-depth information on growth and development issues before local government in the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle. Charlottesville Tomorrow's information is widely distributed to the public through our website, in e-mail alerts, in printed local election voter guides, and on weekly radio programs." See post in
Nieman Journalism Labs blog
about how content from CharlottesvilleTomorrow is also used by the local paper.
-- Founded in 2009, the name comes from the town's first newspaper, launched in 1793. Dave Wheelan, publisher and editor. John Lang, managing editor.
- Founded in 2005 by former Chicago Tribune reporter Geoff Dougherty, the site was foundation and reader supported. It ceased publication in September 2009, because Dougherty said he couldn't raise the $300,000 needed for the site.
In this blog post
from September 09, Dougherty says the editorial team plans to launch a for-profit site, and he's looking for a way to keep the neighborhood reporting system of ChiTownDailyNews intact.
- Ad-supported, about coastal San Mateo County, California, launched in 2003 by Barry Parr.
- Founded by Mizzou J-school grad Amy Senk, who was a beat reporter in Kansas City before starting her own site in 2009. From the "Who Are We" section: "Corona del Mar Today was born out of the desire to bring daily journalism coverage to our community, which is small enough to be overlooked by bigger publications but interesting enough to need its own voice. Its founder, Amy Senk, was educated at the University of Missouri, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1989. She spent several years as a beat reporter in Kansas City before moving to California in 1992. She has lived in Corona del Mar since 2000 and is a freelance writer and journalist. Corona del Mar Today strives to follow the Journalist’s Creed, a code of ethics written in 1906. This creed says, in part, 'that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of lesser service than the public service is a betrayal of this trust.' "
- Serving Gasconade, Franklin and Montgomery counties in Missouri.
From the site
on 8/21/10: "
invented modern daily news in Hermann, Missouri in 2008. Noedel created an online newspaper in March 2008 focused on his small hometown of Berger, Mo. A few months later, Noedel shifted the focus of his news reporting to neighboring Hermann, Mo. and named the site HermannMuenster.com. The two sites were merged at that time. Noedel grew the audience with daily reporting, feature photos and aggressive promotions. Today, HermannMuenster/CountyNewsLIVE.com is one of the most successful small-town new media news franchises in America, with about 7,000 people (now 9,000, acc. to post on 8/20/2010) visiting per month, a base of nearly 200 paid subscribers ($19.95 per year), and nearly 100 advertisers." Noedel and an ad rep comprise the staff. Site is built in Drupal.
- About Tacoma, Washington, real estate, politics, the arts, urban development, launched in May 2005 by Derek Young.
-- About the issues facing New York City, particularly sustainability, immigration, city and state governments, launched by Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York. Mostly foundation-supported, plus some reader contributions and advertising.
- About Brattleboro, VT. Launched in 2003.
- Community site established by
in 2009 for Berkeley, CA news, events and issues.
-- Founded in 2009 by former Baltimore Examiner reporters; Regina Holmes, editor-in-chief and content director.
More info in OneMansBand post.
- From the site's About section: "The Ithaca Independent founder and editor, Ed Sutherland, is a local journalist with more than 20 years of experience. The goal is to bring news coverage closer to the citizens through numerous avenues, including Twitter and Facebook. Although we embrace modern technology, we remain steadfast in publishing quality journalism, following traditional practices."
Lake County News
-- Ex MSM journalist Elizabeth Larson started this news site three years ago, according to an
article that Editor Unleashed's Maria Schneider
wrote for Mashable.
*Lake Effect News
- news source for Chicago’s north lakefront communities. Lorraine Swanson, editor and publisher.
- From Chuck Welch, founder and editor, on the site's about section: "Pertinent education and true change is accomplished only through intelligent and uncensored discourse. Governments, organizations, and relationships operate best when processes and discussions are transparent. That’s also how I operate Lakeland Local." The site covers Lakeland, FL.
- About Westchester County, N.Y., launched in 2008 by Polly Kreisman.
- Covering Chicago's North Shore, a group of women founded this site and a monthly magazine. From their site: "The Mission of Make It Better.net is to be the community network that helps North Shore women make our lives and the lives of others better. We do this by creating the most trusted and easiest to use resource and magazine to find and share information and connect with the remarkable people, businesses and non-profits in our community."
-- About Minneapolis, MN. Launched in 2008, Joel Kramer, CEO and editor.
*New Haven Independent
- About New Haven, CT, funded by grants, reader donations, and some advertising.
New York Capital
- Its About section leads with: "Capital is an online publication about how things work in New York." Co-founders Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran are former editors at the New York Observer. Merrill Brown is one of their advisers.
-- About Northfield, MN, founded in 1991 and run by a volunteer organization.
-- From their site: "Oakland Local is an independent, nonprofit community news and information hub, connecting community and news that launched on October 19, 2009. The site combines original investigative and feature reporting with community news and information from 35 Oakland non-profit organizations and community groups and many engaged citizens....Seed funding comes from a
New Voices grant
awarded by J-Lab at American University, with funds provided by
The Knight Foundation
. We are the recipient of funding from
The Harnisch Foundation
The G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism
, as well as a grant from
The Renaissance Journalism Center
." Susan Mernit is the editor and publisher. Kwan Booth is senior producer. Amy Gahran is senior editor.
- From its Web site: Open Media Boston is a project of the nonprofit
Media Working Group
. Its funders are the Grassroots Infrastructure Trust, the
Haymarket People's Fund
, and members of the community. Jason Prama is the editor.
-- About Pasadena, CA; launched in 2004 by James Macpherson and Candice Merrill.
-- Bought by AOL in 2009, Patch has 31 sites in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and is setting up shop in the San Francisco Bay Area (Feb. 2, 2010). Cross-posting in this category and in networks (bottom of this page).
About Paulding County, Georgia, and started by G. Patton Hughes in 2003.
- Ad-supported, about Quincy, Illinois, launched in April 2008 by Bob Gough.
Raleigh Public Record
- Nonprofit started in 2008. From its about page: RPR Editor Charles C. Duncan Pardo is a reporter and editor with the Courthouse News Service, but Raleigh Public Record has become his full-time volunteer job. Charles has worked as a reporter for the North Carolina Public Radio and did a brief stint as a producer for WUNC’s The State of Things. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, in the Independent Weekly and other outlets.Charles firmly believes in doing what you love and care about, even if that means being underemployed. He embarked on this adventure to create a nonprofit source for Raleigh news in September 2008.
- From the Web site: "The Rapidian is a citizen journalism project intended to increase the flow of local news and information in the Grand Rapids community and its neighborhoods. The Rapidian is a project of the
Grand Rapids Community Media Center
with funding and support from the
Grand Rapids Community Foundation
, Slemons Foundation and
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
." The publisher is
- Ad-supported, founded in 2008 by Ben Ilfeld and Geoff Samek.
Here's the story of how and why they started the organization.
-- San Diego News Network was launched in March 2009 by Neil “Baby" Senturia, a San Diego technology entrepreneur. Its president is Chris Jennewein, who made
, the San Diego Union's quasi-independent Web site, the success that it is today.
More info in this Forbes article.
- About San Francisco; covers news, culture/entertainment, business/tech/real estate, and food. According to its site, most all of the contributors work at other jobs. It participates in Six Apart's ad network.
- "Community-powered journalism for the Ozarks"...
From its about section:
"This site is a community-driven news organization led by
, a former newspaper journalist and current assistant professor at Drury University, and Kory Mitchell, a graduate assistant majoring in communication. Groves also leads the Ozarks Community Journalism Foundation, the nonprofit group overseeing this project." Uses WordPress.
-- Several former Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalists started this site. They're surviving on donations and unemployment now, but looking for advertising. Here's an article about the site, in the
Columbia Journalism Review.
- From the site's about section: "Founded in May 2008, Sheepshead Bites is a local news outlet chronicling the daily experiences of living in Brooklyn’s best neighborhood, Sheepshead Bay. Part community bulletin board, part newspaper – Sheepshead Bites brings you stories about breaking news, meeting coverage, events, businesses and history. We report on your block and every block around you. We tell you about transportation and development issues, as well as the best restaurants to visit, unique stores and upcoming events." Ned Berke, a life-long resident of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY, is editor.
- From the site's about section: SF Public Press is a startup nonprofit news organization in San Francisco that aims to do for print and Web journalism what public broadcasting has done for radio and television. We publish public-interest news reporting at
with the help of
more than 70 professional and volunteer journalists and nonprofit specialists
striving to fill the void of hard-hitting accountability reporting that’s been lost with the downsizing of the commercial press. We have received support from the San Francisco Foundation and more than 200 individual donors. In the summer of 2010 we also began producing a
print newspaper edition
in an effort to bridge the digital divide.
Local historical society bought when chain decided to close the Colorado news organization, which had been publishing since 1875.
- Founded as a volunteer community-driven site in May 2007.
- From the site's about section:
The South Los Angeles Report
is a community news web site dedicated to covering South Los Angeles and surrounding areas, with contributions from residents, high school students and journalism students from the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
St. Louis Beacon
- About St. Louis, MO. Foundation-funded, it was launched in 2008. Broad coverage in four areas: issues/politics, health/science, arts & life, opinion. Margie Freivogel, editor, and 15 other paid staff members.
- About Sun Valley, ID; Tessa Sheehan, producer.
Talk of the Sound
- A community site for New Rochelle, N.Y., population 75,000, that was launched in 2008. Robert Cox is the managing editor. From the about section of the site: "New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound allows anyone to create a blog where they can publish articles, photos, videos and more. Every post will be appear on the Front Page under "recent blog posts" and the best content each day will be featured throughout the site. The goal is to give everyone in town a voice and let folks "talk" to each other through blog posts, comments on those posts, videos and photos." The site is built in Drupal.
- TBD.com is doing the right thing in Washington, D.C., by including a network of more than 100 existing niche news blogs into its content stream. TBD.com is part of Allbritton Communications, which owns several TV stations in the U.S. (two in D.C.), and Politico, which it launched in 2007. TBD is run by Jim Brady, formerly of the Washington Post. Steve Buttry, a name familiar to all of us, is director of community engagement. They worked on TBD for nearly a year before it was launched. A good article in OJR:
Lessons from launch: How TBD.com is trying to engage the community to build its business.
Dec 1, 2010 Growing pains for TBD:
they've stopped selling ads on their blog partners' sites, and Jim Brady left, reportedly after a disagreement with Allbritton.
Tega Cay Talk
- "Discussing news, events, people, places, and 'The Good Life', in and around Tega Cay, SC. Ben Ullman, one of the JLAB partners of The Charlotte Observer, launched this site using Ning.
Twin Cities Daily Planet
- From its Web site: The Twin Cities Daily Planet is an online publication connecting citizens in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul with one another and with the global community. The Daily Planet is a project of the
Twin Cities Media Alliance
, a nonprofit organization that brings together media professionals and engaged citizens to improve the quality, accountability and diversity of the local media. Funding for the Twin Cities Media Alliance is provided by the McKnight Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Otto Bremer Foundation, Still Ain't Satisfied Foundation, J-Lab - the Institute for Interactive Journalism, the McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Digital Inclusion Fund, the St. Paul Foundation and by individuals who become members of the Daily Planet. Mary Turck is editor.
Valley Independent Sentinel
- The Naugatuck Valley in Connecticut lost its newspaper 17 years ago. With a $500,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, the nonprofit was born from the efforts of the Valley Community Foundation, the Online Journalism Project, and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The towns served are Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton. The grant will keep the nonprofit site running for two years.
Voice of San Diego
-- About San Diego. Launched in 2004 by Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue; foundation- and donation-funded.
- Anne Eisenmenger, founder and publisher of one of the affiliates of the Village Soup network, sends this info in a 7/12/10 email: "The first out-of-Maine licensee of Village Soup, we have simultaneously worked to "reinvent" the community newspaper. We think we have done that with Wareham Week, a tight-and-bright professionally written, free local tab -- with distribution that has grown from 4,000 in January to more than 7,000 today, just in the 8,600-household town of Wareham. (By contrast, the circulation of the paid GateHouse competitor is probably 3,000 and falling.)" After six months, they're "flirting" with a financial break-even point.
- From the site's about section: "
is the news source Western Kenosha County has always deserved. It’s been created and written by people who live west of the I for people who live west of the I." Darren Hillock is editor. Karen Hillock is in charge of advertising.
-- About Westport, CT. Launched in March 2003 by Gordon Joseloff, publisher and former reporter for CBS News.
- Ad-supported, about the West Seattle neighborhood (pop. ~ 60,000) of Seattle, Washington, launched January 2006 by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand.
Local - Food
- Founded by Michelle Ferrier, who won a McCormick Foundation New Women, New Media grant for her proposed Women's Community News Franchise project. LocallyGrownNews, the proof-of-concept for that proposal, covers Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC. Its About page leads with this: "LocallyGrownNews.com is an online community designed to foster the eating locally movement. Our mission is to generate conversation around sustainable, healthy lifestyles."
Local - Growth & Development
- Ad-supported, about Brooklyn real estate and renovation. Launched in October 2004 by Jonathan Butler. Acc. to
this article published
in April 2010, Butler says the site has 1.5 million pageviews and 200,000 unique visitors.
- About the Washington, D.C., Southeast area, launched in January 2003 by Jacqueline Dupree.
- Ad-supported, about Philadelphia real estate and renovation. Launched in April 2010, by a staff member of Brownstoner who wanted to move to Philadelphia. Much more information appears in an
article in Technically Philly.
Local - Technology
- Founded in February 2009 by Brian James Kirk, Sean Blanda and Christopher Wink -- "Covering the community of people who use technology in Philadelphia."
Politics/Government - National
-- Covers US politics, especially Congress and lobbying. Robert Allbritton, publisher. Former Washington Post reporters John Harris and Jim VandeHei lead the reporting team. [Also print version in newspaper distributed free on Capitol Hill.]
- an informal network of national progressive political bloggers
- National issues, launched by Josh Marshall in November 2000 during the Florida recount. Launched TPMCafe.com in 2005, TPMuckraker.com and TPM Election Central in 2006.
Politics - State
- Pay-wall ($360/yr individual, $1800/yr professional), ad-supported; about Arizona politics and state government, launched January 2009.
- Ad-supported, about Connecticut politics, legal, and business community; launched in 2005 by Dan Levine.
New York State Senate
-- New York State taxpayer-supported news and information site, launched in 2009 by the Senate communications department.
- Progressive political news from Cheeseheads -- Founded in 2005 by Steve Hanson.
Politics/Government - Local
- From its about section: Early and Often is a subscription-based Chicago political news service powered by the
Chicago News Cooperative
and Aldertrack. We provide unmatched coverage of the 2011 Chicago mayoral campaign, aldermanic races and the city treasurer and clerk contests – right through the April 5 run-offs. Subscriptions are $150 until October 18, 2010, 15% off the normal price of $175.
- Covers Seattle city hall. Founded in June 2009 by Josh Feit. Here's a
recent article in the Kitsap Sun
about Publicola, whose name, says the site, comes from Publius Valerius PubliCola, who was the alias for the authors of the Federalist Papers—the original bloggers.
- Culture, economy, politics, environment and lifestyle of the Rocky Mountain West, founded in 2005 by Jonathan Weber.
- News, culture and politics in the Rocky Mountain West.
Regional - Arts
Big Red & Shiny
-- Arts coverage in New England, Matthew Nash, publisher.
Regional - Real Estate
- Started by former Rocky Mountain News real estate reporter John Rebchook.
Good profile on Editor Unleashed.
- From the Web site: In the summer of 2009, the independent, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting launched a new reporting initiative called California Watch, the largest group of journalists dedicated to investigative reporting in the state. California Watch reporters cover education, public safety, health care and the environment. "Our reporters also produce stories that hold those in power accountable, while tracking government waste and the misspending of taxpayer resources." California Watch is supported by major grants from the James Irvine Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It welcomes advertising. Offices in the Bay Area and in Sacramento. Louis Freedberg, Director.
- Mostly news about New Jersey; founded in April 2009 by former Star-Ledger journalists Matt Romanoski, Garrett Morrison, and Andrew Lagomarsino.
Reported in Editor & Publisher
- From their Web site: A non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization. Our mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy,
politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern. 23 staff. Founded in Sept. 2009, by March 31, 2010, after 22 weeks, they're up to 200,000 monthly uniques and 1 million page views/month.
-- About British Columbia, Canada. Launched in 2003 by editor David Beers.
-- A site in Vermont started by Ann Galloway. From their "about" page: "Vtdigger.org is a nonprofit, statewide news Web site dedicated to coverage of government, business and community life issues." Here's a
good writeup about the site's one-year history that Ann
provided after the
Block by Block
confab held Sept. 23-24, 2010, in Chicago.
Sports - National
Here's info about
its latest round of VC funding
from PaidContent.org. More info from its about page: "Bleacher Report is the web's leading publisher of original and entertaining sports editorial content. Since launching in 2008, Bleacher Report's web site has attracted an audience of more than 16 million monthly unique visitors. Today, BleacherReport.com is one of the two fastest-growing sites on the Quantcast web rankings (since April 2010), and is the fifth largest sports destination as ranked by comScore. Over 1,000,000 users subscribe to our sport- and team-specific email newsletters, which provide next-level reporting that resonates with our engaged audience of die-hard sports fans." Its editorial staff manages 700 freelancers who provide content and generate more than 500 articles/day.
- Began as a software application serving the newspaper industry. In 2001 when the dot-com bubble burst, newspapers retreated from Web. It went out on its own with high-school data aggregation; now has 25,000 high school coaches providing information regularly. Grew in Northern California in 2003, spread to all of California in 2004, did a pilot with CBS Interactive in the New York area and California in 2005, and went nationwide
in 2006. CBS Sports bought MaxPreps in 2007.
Technology - Regional
Technology - National
- Technology, founded by Halsey Minor in 1992. Purchased by CBS Interactive in June 2008 for $1.8 billion.
- Founded in 2001; headquartered in Portland, OR; employs 22 people worldwide to cover consumer tech - videos, mobile, computing, gaming, home theater, lifestyle. A bit from its about section: Digital Trends content is syndicated to more than 150 television news station sites, Google, YouTube, Yahoo!, Entrepreneur.com, Sam’s Club, Sympatico, Yahoo! Canada and more.
- Danny Sullivan and Chris Elwell partner in this niche news site, which is the flagship of Third Door Media. Third Door's diversified into events (Search Marketing Expo - SMX), on-demand education through Webinars and Webcasts (Search Marketing Now), and a social media site for search and interactive marketers (Sphinn). Search Engine Land charges $149/year for premium content and some social networking.
- "Focuses on mobile phones and related hardware such as Bluetooth headsets and keyboards. Our specialty is our in-depth, hands on reviews of devices, though we also try to keep our readers abreast of the most important news and product launches in the industry." Brian Kirk, editor.
Transportation - State
Travel - National
-- Launched in 2005 by Kim Orlando. Former Chicago Tribune reporter Cindy Richards is editor.
Writing, Publishing (blogs, books, etc.) - National
Networks - Local
-- Founded in 2009 by two former editors from Gawker and Radar Magazine. They describe their site as intending "to encourage a daily discussion of the issues of the day—news, politics, culture (and TV!)—during sensible hours of the working week." According to
this post in Yahoo!'s Cutline,
they've started two other sites --
(comedy and entertainment) and
(women's things). The article noted that Awl publisher David Cho says he anticipates revenues in the low millions over the next 18 months.
*Twin Cities Daily Planet
-- Community news aggregator and syndicator in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, project of the Twin CIties Media Alliance. Mary Turck, editor. (Also listed in local community sites section)
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