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Cal Coast News

Posted by jessdrkn on June 23, 2009

Location: San Luis Obispo, Calif.  calcoastnews

Focus: watchdog reporting on San Luis Obispo County

Started: January 2008

Employees/Writers: Founder and Editor Karen Velie; Originally co-founded by Ms. Velie, a professional writer, and Daniel Blackburn, a former Orange County Register bureau chief, but in June 2009 site announced Mr. Blackburn is leaving to pursue another start-up. According to the article: “CalCoastNews.com has plans to add new investigative reporters and is expanding content to include new sections in the next few months.”

Funding: advertising, donations

Site: calcoastnews.com

Investigative journalism is at an impasse. Today’s newspapers are suffering from time and fiscal constraints. As a result of numerous layoffs and budget cuts, investigative reporting has been squeezed down, and in some cases out. The watchdog function of the media is increasingly perceived as a thing of the past. This is a time when new models of journalism are being created to help maintain the media’s important watchdog function. The trend is clear: on-line journalism is the future. However, the bulk of news sources on the Web rely on unoriginal news and opinion. As it evolves, CalCoastNews.com will provide readers with calendar, news briefs, features, with an ever-vigilant emphasis on investigative reporting.

Sample stories: “Employees accused of pilfering county vehicles”; “Fraud lawsuit filed against Heritage Oaks Bank and Stewart Title.” Posts are every few days, bylined by Ms. Velie; some links to other news outlet content.

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