Online news and information beyond legacy media

Archive for December, 2009

Davidson News

Posted by jessdrkn on December 31, 2009

Location: Davidson, North Carolina 

Focus: news in Davidson, a town about 20 miles north of Charlotte, NC; offers news, opinion, classifieds, sports, arts, calendar, ”shopping”, multi-media, real estate, “Beyond Davidson”, “Health & Fitness”, obituaries, “Worship” sections. One of five community/neighborhood news sites near Charlotte chosen in 2009 to partner with legacy media outlet Charlotte Observer through a $45,000 J-Lab grant

Started: 2006

Staff: Founded and edited by David Boraks, a former print reporter and editor who worked for mostly major Connecticut newspapers; there is also a publisher, website designer/manager, a few reporters, a columnist, and volunteer contributors  

Funding: LLC business — relies on donations, sponsors, advertising, see here


From About Us: is a community news website established in late 2006 to share information and promote discussion about town news, events, and issues in the town of Davidson, N.C. It is owned by Davidson News LLC and managed by and for Davidson residents. We’re a combination of paid staff and volunteers. Join our email list by entering your email address in the box at right.

Sample stories: “Christmas burglary in River Run; police on alert tonight”; “Freshman scores 22 as Davidson women beat Newberry”; “Home sales listed; region’s home prices fell in Oct.”; “Remembering those who left us in 2009″, from local Obituaries

Media mentions: Charlotte Observer story “Observer partner’s focus is local news”; see here for’s roundup of media mentions — they have been spotlighted by entrepreneurial journalism advocates, articles on hyperlocal news

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Galion Live

Posted by jessdrkn on December 26, 2009

Location: Galion, Ohio 

Started: April 2009

Focus: News and information for the Galion area: “connecting Galion and Galionites with their world.” Integration with social media and networking; launching citizen media component in January 2010; user-generated content; information categories include “News & Views”, “Life in Galion”, “Education & Health”, and “Sports”; some links to content by area media

Staff: Founder/editor Thomas Palmer; 2 regular contributors

Funding: Advertising model launching 2010


From About:

The goal of GalionLive! is to bring the community together by facilitating the open exchange of news, information and ideas. It is based squarely on the idea of interactivity, in that the entire community, as well as friends of Galion from around the country and the world, are invited to become a part by posting news items, opinions or events — and by sharing photos, videos or audio.

As this site launches, it does so with an iron-clad promise, and that is a commitment to promote communication and conversation that is not dependent on commercial support. This site will feature its own stories and views, each aimed at revealing some aspect of community life. GalionLive! also embraces the concept of “citizen journalism,” in that it also allows registered users to publish any material that meets the following criteria:

Mr. Palmer: GalionLive includes a social networking site at: with some 364 registered users; a WordPress site at: with regular commentary from readers; a Facebook site at: w ith 599 “fans”; and a Twitter site at: These sites are integrated to the greatest extent possible to create a single product

Sample stories: “Galion Christmas Eve services” a roundup of church service times; “The Old World comes to Galion”; “Utility rate increases enacted by council”; “It happened in Galion…” a decade retrospective of local events from 2000-2009

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Technically Philly*

Posted by jessdrkn on December 22, 2009

*This entry has an asterisk because while the site is more niche than general community news, it’s mission affects a broad group (anyone with tech in their lives) and it is an online start-up targeting a specific a geographical area, which qualifies it to be included in

Location: Philadelphia  

Focus: “Technically Philly is a site covering the community of people who use technology in Philadelphia”

Started: February 2009

Staff: Founded by Christopher Wink, Sean Blanda and Brian James Kirk, who formed the company Technically Media. Wink, Blanda and Kirk run the site, editing and contributing stories. They have one ad sales rep.

Funding: advertising, sponsorships, see their advertising rates in their online ad kit


From About

From the small group of programmers working on the next big Web application to large businesses that employ hundreds, the Philadelphia technology community is growing. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of all of the start-ups, organizations, venture capitalists and businesses that are working to make Philadelphia thrive.

Technically Philly will be there to help you stay on top of all of the news that affects our technology community with a Philadelphia-first mind set, and we will let you know when the next event is happening in your neighborhood. In fact, the three editors of Technically Philly have never even set foot in Silicon Valley.

Sample posts: “TNT: The ballet wants you to take your phone out. No, really”; “Friday Q&A: Catching up with Steve Welch, candidate for congress”; “City of Philadelphia to buy municipal WiFi network from Network Acquisitions”; “Walnut Street Apple store now hiring”

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Posted by jessdrkn on December 22, 2009

Location: Philadelphia 

Focus: news and opinion in the city, “In-Depth News, Analysis & Commentary for the Philadelphia Region”; sections include “Publius” for opinion; and “VoxPop” for first-person essays

Started: December 2009

Staff: Editor Tom Ferrick, a print newspaper veteran; web designer;  graphics designer; and 11 story contributors listed on the site launch.

Funding: non-profit — a project of the Public Media Lab


From About Us:

Underlying the thinking behind Metropolis is that this region has an abundance of smart, engaged people who care about the area and its future, whose definition of citizenship includes more than just voting and griping about the status quo.Through their unselfish acts, through their volunteer work and their political and civic engagement, they contribute in ways that reverberate far beyond their neighborhoods. Collectively, they serve as the soul and conscience of the Philadelphia region. They are its engines of change.

This website is designed to serve these active and aware citizens, people who have a need to know what is happening in the region that affects them, their families, their neighborhoods and their communities.

Sample stories: “The Frankford Story: In a Free Fall” about a dying neighborhood, part of two-part series;  “Police pact inked”; “Special Report: Violence at South Philly High”; “Time to tax natural gas” (opinion piece); “Another ‘F’ for Philly” brief about weak education system

Posted in Pennsylvania | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rust Wire

Posted by jessdrkn on December 7, 2009

Location: Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  

Focus: revitalization and lifestyle stories from the U.S. rust belt region — metro areas around Great Lakes including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Buffalo; categories include “economic development”, “good ideas”, “editorial”, and “real estate”; also running the Big Urban Photography Project

Started: February 2009

Staff: editors are Angie Schmitt (in Cleveland) and Kate Giammarise (in Pittsburgh), who used to be reporters at the Toledo Blade. Ms. Schmitt is a graduate student in Urban Studies/Public Policy at Cleveland State University, according to the site. Ms. Giammarise is Pittsburgh-based journalist who covers the steel industry; there are eight contributors from around and outside region

Funding: self-funded to start; considering grants


From About:

This site is intended to consolidate thoughtful, constructive stories about post-industrial cities across the Rust Belt. It was developed by two former newspaper reporters with ties to five Rust Belt cities, and it is maintained with help from half a dozen others from across the region.

Our aim present a balanced, realistic view of our cities, the challenges they face and the assets they maintain.

Sample stories: “A summer of Rust Belt road trips…”; “Pittsburgh: The Paris of Appalachia” Q&A with “Paris of Appalachia” book author; “[Braddock Mayor] Fetterman named to Atlantic’s ‘Brave Thinkers’ list; “Why Detroit will survive”; “What Las Vegas can learn from the Rust Belt”

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Corona del Mar Today

Posted by jessdrkn on December 6, 2009

Location: Corona Del Mar, California 

Focus: news from a Southern California beach community, in Orange County: “Our mission is to provide solid news coverage of the village of Corona del Mar in a timely, fair and accurate [manner]; mostly original reporting; links to Orange County Register (daily paper of record) for other local news;  blogroll of links to civic groups and municipal resources

Started: March 2009

Staff: Founder Amy Senck, see below, is a Corona Del Mar resident, freelance writer and a former newspaper reporter



From About:

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.

Sample stories:  “Quiet Woman [restaurant] holding auction today”; “Stolen watch returned after savvy police work”; “Local football team going to youth superbowl”; photo gallery of Christmas Walk

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Bakersfield Express

Posted by jessdrkn on December 6, 2009

Location: Bakersfield, California 

Focus: “Expressing community through arts, culture and civic involvement”; information categories include “arts & culture”, “green living”, “non-profits and volunteering”, “quality of life”; calendar listings

Started: August 2009

Staff: executive director/managing editor; board of directors; solicitation for contributors

Funding: non-profit, pending 501(c)3 status; donations


From About Us:

The content comes from a mix of independent reporting, community contributed columns and photos, and reader commentary. The website offers an independent, alternative source of local news and information, as well as an opportunity for outreach among community groups.Bakersfield Express is a professional and ethical voice in the community, and offers a place for community members to express themselves. We hold local government accountable through watchdog reporting, offer a central online meeting place for the arts community, and support eco-friendly lifestyle practices. We also build community by encouraging people to volunteer through our nonprofit portal and send in events for our community calendar.

Sample stories: “Artists represent isolation, loss associated with homelessness”; “Kern County has power to be renewable energy leader”; “Dia de los Muertos celebrations are to die for”; “Community concert season off to a jiving start”; “Help needed for tree planting, grove cleanup”

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Old Dominion Watchdog

Posted by jessdrkn on December 6, 2009

Location: Arlington, Virginia 

Focus: watchdog, investigative journalism in Virginia; conservative, small government/anti-tax slant; original reporting and some narrative coverage from other media sources

Started: October 2009

Staff: Paige Winfield, editor and writer

Funding: non-profit, 501(c)3, a project of The Franklin Center for Public Integrity, by the Sam Adams Alliance.


From About:

Virginia Watchdog is dedicated to balanced news reporting that promotes responsible state and local government.

The goal of Virginia Watchdog is to uncover the actions of government officials and agencies, offering carefully researched data, context and analysis.

We will investigate and inform the public about waste, fraud, abuse, ethical questions and safety concerns involving the use of taxpayer dollars. We’ll also applaud government services that are run efficiently and make exceptional use of funds.

Sample stories: “Citizens can check congressional office costs”; “Hamilton is third to resign on ethics charges”; “Imaginary Virginia districts reported on federal stimulus Web site”; “WaPo mention and Chesapeake Bay battles” news roundup.

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