Online news and information beyond legacy media

Archive for October, 2009

New Castle NOW

Posted by jessdrkn on October 27, 2009

Location: New Castle (Westchester County), New York newcastlenow

Focus: “News & Opinion Weekly”; community news and information; extensive municipal boards coverage; sections include Front Page, Photo Gallery, Letters to the Editor, Op-Ed, Town, Government, Schedules & Agendas, Sports, People, Volunteer Ops


Staff: 4 — editor, managing editor, copy editor and advertising director; approximately 130 contributors

Funding: advertising


Sample stories: “Town board will hire consultant to assess town-wide real property revaluation”; “Teen drinking party results in arrest of Chappaqua dad”; “Bridge construction update, some nighttime closings to move big materials”; “Greeley Boys Varsity Soccer – League Champions!”; bulletin: “Lost toy poodle: Simone”

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Oakland Local

Posted by jessdrkn on October 27, 2009

Location: Oakland, Calif.  oaklandlocal

Focus: news and information on Oakland neighborhoods and local nonprofit activity; environmentally focused coverage; news categories include environment, food, development, identity, and arts & education

Started: October 2009

Staff: 5 — an editor/publisher, senior producer, senior editor, strategist/advisor, and a staff writer; collaborates with local bloggers, contributors;  partners with local media outlets, namely online news site, a radio site, and other nonprofit outlets, and Center for Investigative Reporting; also conducts social and new media training sessions in community

Funding: nonprofit, 501c3 project of The Center for Media Change; seed money from a New Voices grant awarded by J-Lab at American University, which receives funds from The Knight Foundation


From About

Oakland Local is an independent, non-profit community news and information hub, connecting community and news. Our site combines original investigative and feature reporting with community news and information about Oakland non-profit organizations, community groups and engaged citizens.

…Centered on topics including environmental justice, food distribution, transportation, development & housing, arts & education, and gender & identity, Oakland Local aggregates information and news from local non-profits and community organizations working on these topics within a range of Oakland neighborhoods.

Stories: “People’s Grocery wins humanitarian award”; “Peralta Elementary School’s annual walk-a-thon is a big success”; “Liberation Ink co-op starts membership program to stay open, meet costs”

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Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Posted by jessdrkn on October 15, 2009

Location: Philadelphia philadelphianeighborhoods

Focus:  news and information from 27 neighborhoods in the city; a “Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab” project by Temple University’s journalism department. Similar to University of  Southern California’s Intersections: The South Los Angeles Reporting Project.

Started: March 2009

Staff: project co-directors are Linn Washington, director of News-Editorial sequence in the Temple University journalism department, and Christopher Harper, an associate professor in the department. Journalism students contribute content. 



From About

[Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab] is the cornerstone of the Department of Journalism’s mission to better tell stories in the under-covered and under-served neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Students tell the stories that represent the diverse voices of the multicultural and multinational Philadelphia neighborhoods. Each semester MURL students concentrate their news coverage in a targeted Philadelphia neighborhood, and then service it with topical information and service news from the community–issues from the school lunch and the missing stop signs–to the people who seek to maintain a livable community. This MURL brand of news provides a form of hyper-local coverage missing from our urban communities: journalism street by street.

Stories: “Gravediggers raise money for Laurel Hill Cemetary”; “Olney: A Look at the 35th Police District”; “Feltonville: Three Children and Woman Killed”; “Fishtown: Vegan anyone?”; “Mantua: Farming Provides Locals with Fresh Produce”

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West Seattle Blog

Posted by jessdrkn on October 11, 2009

Location: Seattle  westseattleblog

Focus: municipal, neighbhorhood news in West Seattle neighborhoods, including accidents, crime, local information; links to West Seattle bloggers; calendar listings; traffic cams; public forums; collaborates with Seattle Times on community coverage

Started: 2005 as casual community observation blog; 2007, news concentration, began accepting advertising

Staff: 2-person startup - co-publishers Tracy Record, editor, and Patrick Sand, business development director (“the sales guy”); 6 contributing reporters

Funding: advertising


From About

We started this in late 2005 with the intention of it just being a little place where we could spout our observations about what’s happening in our rapidly changing community. In the early months, it was a lot more personal, written first person, with a lot more opinion. Then something unexpected started to happen — we began to hear from West Seattle residents looking for information they couldn’t find anywhere else, particularly during the December 2006 windstorm and ensuing days of powerlessness, when thousands of us were sitting in cold dark homes without any official information on when our electricity would be restored. That was a turning point for us, toward a focus more on community news and information, updated frequently, and throughout 2007, and now on into 2008, that focus intensifies day by day.

Sample stories: “Update: Car hits pole, SW Barton closed west of Westwood Village”; ”Video: Human, canine volunteers finish up new Westcrest feature”; “Next chance to help library supporters fight more budget cuts”


Posted in Washington state | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Progress Illinois

Posted by jessdrkn on October 7, 2009

Location: Chicago  progressillinois

Focus: original reporting, blogging on progressive issues in state and metro politics; issues include fair taxation, health care, environment, election reform; site categories include “blogs” “columns” and “features”; multi-media components; blogroll/links to legacy media sites serving Chicago and state, national news sites, blogs (i.e. Huffington Post)

Started: March 2008

Staff: paid, full-time staff (number not available); accepts occasional freelance contributions

Funding: solely sponsored by SEIU Illinois, an LLC; looking for other progressive group sponsorship


From About

On a daily basis, our full-time writing staff narrates the news from across the state. Our frequent blog posts provide readers with relevant context and remind them what is at stake in the ongoing political and policy debates. But rather than simply follow the news cycle, Progress Illinois also contributes original reporting and research in the form of feature articles that explore local issues and policy debates. Furthermore, by regularly publishing guest columns we promote a wide range of progressive voices – from members of Congress to local activists.

Stories: “A State-based Public Option?”; “Currie, Mendoza, And Delgado Sign Petition In Support Of Public Option”; “On the United Deal, Don’t Forget that other $15 million”

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Posted by jessdrkn on October 7, 2009

Location: Seattle  crosscut

Focus: “News of the Great Nearby”; “…a daily guide to local and Northwest news, and a forum where writers and citizens with many points of view can report and discuss local news”; non-breaking news, aggregated news, topics, from other online media sources; original content; blogs; regional coverage includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, British Columbia, Montana; content categories include arts/living, business, politics, science/environment

Started: April 2007 (as LLC, then converted to non-profit December 2008)

Staff: founded by civic leaders, investors; content generated by ”contract writers, freelancers, prominent figures in the community or in a given field, and normal folks and specialists who have something to report or something to say,” according to the site; more than 40 contributors; paid freelancers; contributor solicitations

Funding: non-profit according to site, 501c3 status with IRS is “pending” as of November 2008 (could be outdated info); started as Crosscut LLC then converted to Crosscut Public Media; from About Us, revenue sources: “annual memberships, donations from individuals, grants and foundation support, and advertising sponsorships. In the future, we expect to produce some events, such as conferences, that will also generate income. This model resembles public broadcast, except there is no government money in the mix.” 


From About Us

Crosscut is a daily guide to local and Northwest news, and a forum where writers and citizens with many points of view can report and discuss local news. News coverage as traditionally practiced by mainstream media outlets coexists with advocacy journalism and opinion. Crosscut is a general-interest news site, with coverage ranging over politics, business, arts and lifestyle, and the world of ideas. It does thoughtful and fresh analysis of the important issues of the day, not routine breaking news.

Sample stories: “King County’s running out of cuts”; “Real radio is found in Bellevue” (posted to a Crosscut blog); “A taste of the next mayor’s diet”; “What would Jane Jacobs do about the viaduct?”; “Seattle schools’ next hot potato: Student assignment plans”; “Are we happier in the West?”; “Obama science goes schizophrenic on salmon restoration”

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