Online news and information beyond legacy media

Archive for September, 2009

The New Mexico Independent

Posted by jessdrkn on September 29, 2009

Location: Albuquerque  nmi

Focus: statewide, regional news, politics, environment, growth, border issues, poverty, culture categories; original reporting; blog roundup

Started: April 2008

Staff:  5 — Editor Gwyneth Doland, two senior writers, two reporter/bloggers; plus 4 contributing columnists, 1 cartoonist

Site: (one of six news sites with the non-profit Center for Investigative Media  project)

Funding: non-profit project of Center for Investigative Media; “donations” link forwards to CIM site in Washington, DC

 From About Us page

Local news in context: The New Mexico Independent is a fleet-footed webpaper of politics and policy. We are the ink-stained wretches of the digital era. We aim for snap-crackle-pop reporting in our articles and blog posts – all working together to tell a bigger story. We provide thought-provoking commentary from insightful experts. We write to record scenes from the passing show, to stir things up and to keep those in power honest. We seek to explore and define the Land of Enchantment and the context for our times.

Sample stories: “Chavez, Berry exchange fire over campaign HQ rent”; “BernCo Sheriff Darren White endorses Berry for mayor”; “NM’s rising rate of unemployment could bring new stimulus money”; “Throw enough money at Johnny and surely he’ll read” (commentary)

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Posted by jessdrkn on September 29, 2009

Location: Minneapolis  untitled

Focus: “A thoughtful approach to news”; original reporting on state, regional news, politics, health, science, business, sports; a “community voices” section; blogger commentary; book club; multi-media component; national/world news from Christian Science Monitor news service

Started: 2007 (end of)

Staff: CEO, Editor Joel Kramer started project; other staff are a managing editor, web editor, director of operations, editor, news editor, advertising director; launched with 25 journalists contribution agreement

Funding: non-profit: start-up funding of $850,000 came from four families, according to site; foundation support from James L. Knight Foundation; Blandin Foundation to launch Greater Minnesota Project; as of June 30, 2008, site had 904 member-donors contributing from $10 to $10,000, according to site; advertising sold. 


Our mission is to provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota. We intend to focus sharply on that mission, and not get distracted by trying to be all things or serve all people. provides news and analysis Monday through Friday, based on reporting by professional journalists, most of whom have decades of experience in the Twin Cities media.

…Our goal is to create a sustainable business model for this kind of journalism, supported by corporate sponsors, advertisers, and members who make annual donations. High-quality journalism is a community asset that sustains democracy and quality of life, so we are asking people who believe in it to support our work.

Sample stories: “Teamsters’ early endorsement of Rybak unusual boost for ‘unofficial’ guv candidate”; “Scientist offers dire scenario at climate-change symposium in Minneapolis”; “Update: Amid ‘tough week’ of turmoil, Minnesota ACORN folks say they’re continuing outreach work”

Media Mentions: from Knight Foundation press release, August 2007: “MinnPost to launch later this year with partial funding from Knight Foundation”; N

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The Rapidian

Posted by jessdrkn on September 23, 2009

Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.  therapidian

Focus: hyperlocal, citizen-journalism news site for Grand Rapids; open-sourced; coverage categories include news, politics, communinty life, sports, opinion

Started: Sept. 15, 2009

Staff: 4: Publisher Laurie Cirivello, Citizen Journalism Coordinator Denise Cheng, Content Facilitator Drew Storey, New Media Planner George Wietor; online solicitation to be a citizen reporter for the site; Project of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, which runs non-profit WYCE-FM (88.1), the Wealthy Theatre, GRTV and Livewire cable access television, according to Grand Rapids Press report

Funding: non-profit: grants and support from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Knight Foundation, Slemons Foundation


From About page

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.

By providing tools, training, platforms and support, we hope to empower neighborhood residents to report the news from the inside out. We are an outlet for Grand Rapidians to become more than just content consumers but also providers by becoming citizen journalists.

We are currently in our beta phase and appreciate any feedback from our participants to make the most user friendly site possible.

Sample stories: “Social networking on the rise”; “Park(ing) Day 2009: A photo essay”; “Community rowing program unites different schools into a crew”; “ArtPrize piece catches fire in Cathedral Square”; “Health care demonstration”

Media mentions:  Grand Rapids Press online article 9/15/09: “Grand Rapids citizen journalism site The Rapidian launches”

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The Rockwall News

Posted by jessdrkn on September 22, 2009

Location: Rockwall County, Texas  rockwallnews

Focus: “Rockwall County’s leading online news and info service” for large suburban Dallas community. News categories include crime, education, government, sports, entertainment. Intensely local coverage

Started: May 2008 (under different site name); has grown to 8,000 visits per month, according to site

Staff: Founded by JJ Smith, a public relations specialist, former newsperson, and longtime Rockwall resident

Funding: advertising supported; offers $95 week rates; other rates depend on type of ads, i.e., video ads; 9 listed advertisers, including Wal Mart


From About is not an “old school” printed newspaper. It is one of the new brand of news and information websites designed for people who prefer to get their news from the Internet.

…We write and post a variety of important news reports, breaking news articles, interesting feature stories, blog entries, photos and videos about Rockwall County.  We also post many more important headlines that we find online about Rockwall County with links to those news stories on other news and information websites and blogs. 

Thanks to rapid web technology, The Rockwall News provides breaking news, photos and videos faster than other local media because we can post stories online, just minutes after events actually happen. We’ve already posted numerous stories on our website faster than The Dallas Morning News, local weekly newspapers, or even TV or radio stations.

Stories: “Rockwall Boys & Girls Club gets extreme makeover from big accounting firm for new school year”; “Rockwall-Heath holds on, beats Hillcrest Friday night 10-7″; “Most if not all Rockwall County schools not streaming live Obama speech to students in classrooms”; “Rockwall High student close to signing major recording contract”

Extra: Dallas Morning News web site,, links to The Rockwall News in aggrated local towns roundup

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New Haven Independent

Posted by jessdrkn on September 22, 2009

Location: New Haven, Conn. newhavenindependent

Focus: “It’s your town, read all about it”; 5-day week online news site covering people, cities, neighborhoods in New Haven; original reporting, links to other sites with New Haven news

Started: 2005

Staff:  13; Editor Paul Bass, a veteran New Haven reporter, Managing Editor Melissa Bailey; 4 staff writers; 5 contributing reporters; bureau chiefs in capital, outlying communities; print partnership with La Voz Hispana, state’s largest circulation Spanish paper

Funding: non-profit — donations, grants, sponsors; site is ;”produced in conjunction with the Online Journalism Project, a not-for-profit effort to promote professional-quality ‘stand-alone’ and ‘hyperlocal’ news sites on the Internet.”


From About Us

New Haven is rooted in and devoted to the city. We believe that democracy starts at home, with smart, thorough, in-depth local news reporting and broad citizen debate about local issues. Thanks to the Internet, journalists and news-deprived citizens need no longer be hostages to out-of-state media conglomerates. We can reclaim our communities. Power of the press now belongs not to those who own one, but to those who own a modem.

Sample stories: “After crash, cop rescued from car”; “Anti-blight bill becomes law”; “Cops arrest lab tech in Annie Le murder”

Media mentions: in New York Times story about local weekly New Haven Advocate outsourcing stories to India, “Made in India, but published in New Haven”

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CT News Junkie

Posted by jessdrkn on September 16, 2009

Location: Hartford ctnewsjunkie

Focus: “A Connecticut news site that understands the usual media offerings just…aren’t…enough”; some statewide general news, but concentration on capital politics and Hartford city; content includes original reporting and links to 44 blogs/news outlets, including watchdog journalism, lifestyle and local news focusses; other coverage: opinion, transportation, legal, labor, health care; a partner with non-profit online news start-up New Haven Independent

Started: 2005

Employees/Writers: Founding Editor Dan Levine, who has a state politics reporting background. Editor Christing Stewart, a former reporter at the Journal Inquirer in Manchester; one college student intern; accepts contributions.

Funding: advertising, donations

The site:

From About page

Introducing, a Connecticut news site that understands the usual media offerings just aren’t enough. Updated daily, features original reporting on the state’s political, legal, and business universe, including a healthy focus on our struggling health care system.

Not mere observation. No half-cocked rants. And no regurgitated drivel already recorded in a million other outlets.

We’re talking about professionally gathered news you can’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s the latest dirt on a grandstanding senator or a tasty morsel about which bar owner can’t pay his legal bills — give us a week. We’ll be part of your habit.

Sample stories: “Fight to abolish the death penalty continues”; “[Governor] Rell releases DECD documents 16 days late”; “Budget victory tour starts at library”; “Union sings for single-payer”

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Alamo City Times

Posted by jessdrkn on September 16, 2009

Location: San Antonio alamocitytimes

Focus: community news blog serving San Antonio; current events, arts, food, sports, pop culture coverage and discussion. Some Spanish-language content

Started: May 2009

Employees/Writers: founded by Patricio Espinoza, who is also managing editor; family, friends help run the site; most content is openly submitted by area organizations or individuals; solicitations for citizen and professional journalism projects. Multi-media components. Mr. Espinoza created, which covered the 2009 mayoral race. His personal blog,, won an Emmy this year. Mr. Espinoza has a background in broadcasting

Funding: advertising, but content funding is limited; for now, the site links to contributor sites; revenue sharing planned in future as site grows


From About Us page

And so… lets get back to you, Alamo City… this is your blog, and here’s what I propose: You have a story to tell? An event to share? An issue of concern? Drop me a note, I will look into it… or better yet… dig up the story yourself, sign-up, send it in, and I will post it here. You can also upload photos and videos.

…my goal is to complement what traditional media has to offer.  They got the picture, so why not us add the other small pieces of the puzzle.  How many times have you whispered… Why doesn’t anyone cover or do that story? So here is your chance San Antonio, to put your money… or in this case your story where your mouth is.

Sample posts: ”UTSA to hold free astronomy event on Friday, September 18″ and “UTSA wins $5 million in stimulus funds for new computing center (University of Texas at San Antonio press releases); ”Roland’s Cucumber Salad” a public access video submission by a contributor

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