Online news and information beyond legacy media


Posted by jessdrkn on April 6, 2012

Location: Jackson, MI 

Focus: Positive information about Jackson people and culture, especially arts and lifestyles. Information categories are Feature Articles, Videos, Photos, Community News. Magazine-style articles, community generated posts.

Started: 2012


Funding: advertising, media consulting services


Social media: Jacksonopolis YouTube channel, @jacksonopolis, on Facebook. Also on Vimeo and Flickr

From About:

Jacksonopolis showcases the quantity and quality of Jackson people, places, culture, and community.We provide magazine style articles, short and timely community contributed news posts and a recurring video series that highlight attributes specific to the Jackson community. Community participation will be encouraged but strong editorial control will be used to keep the site positive.

Jacksonopolis is about sustaining a community of writers, artists and filmmakers interested in covering a variety of articles which showcase the quantity and quality of Jackson people, places, culture, and community. We’re looking for writers who can cover local, positive, fun and interesting content.

Video intro produced by site founders:



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The Lo-Down

Posted by jessdrkn on April 6, 2012

Location: New York City, Lower East Side 

Focus: “News from the Lower East Side” of NYC. Information categories include News, Food, Nightlife, Art, Music, Kids, Shopping, Real Estate, LES Info, Calendar. Curated content from mainstream and other community news and info sites.

Started: 2009

Staff: founder/publishers Ed Litvak and Traven Rice. Litvak is a former TV news producer, Rice has a background in film and theater. Other staff are two editors. Site has six writing contributors.

Print edition: Publishers announced in March 2012 they will launch a print magazine of Lo-Down NY in May 2012.

Funding: advertising, sponsorships, production and consulting service


From About:

The Lo-Down is a community web site dedicated to covering news, events and – most significantly – the people who live and work in one of the world’s greatest neighborhoods, the Lower East Side. provides great stock market news

Rather than serve a single segment of our diverse neighborhood, we are a resource for all cultures and groups on the LES to share information and ideas and to engage in a meaningful dialogue about issues that unite and divide us. We are not a blog that espouses a particular point of view or has an agenda. We work hard to reach out to people and organizations that are not often heard from – and to solicit multiple points of view and new perspectives. It is most important to us that everyone has an opportunity to tell their own story.

Sample stories: “Ken’s music picks: Bryan Dunn at Rockwood Music Hall”; “Roots and Vines owner talks about why she closed cafe”

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The Loop

Posted by jessdrkn on April 30, 2011

Location: Larchmont/Mamaroneck/Lower Westchester County, New York City area 

Focus: News, Features, Op-Ed, Real Estate, Milestones, and Sports, Pets, Kids, Obituaries sections, etc. in Sound Shore area in New York City suburbs; Spanish-language section called En El Circulo

Started: 2007

Metrics: 8,000 hits a day, 35,000 visitors per month from coverage area

Staff: editor/publisher Polly Kreisman, who is also co-editor of investigative journalism site InvestigateNY and has a background in broadcast media; co-editor Dian Marszalek, a former New York Times and Associated Press reporter

Funding: advertising


From About:

mission statement:

theLoop endeavors to unite its readers with local information through professional journalism and new technologies to create community.

theLoop is:

  •  since 2007, an on-line newspaper serving larchmont, mamaroneck, and lower westchester county.
  • a powerful platform for readers to report news and express opinions.
  • editorial content driven by journalists whose experience runs deep and whose respect for journalistic integrity runs deeper.
  • the number one local news site by traffic in westchester county  (analytics available)

Sample stories: “Scarsdale woman scammed at ATM”; “Arbor Day in New Rochelle”; “Puppy tips: Housebreaking 101″ part of pet adoption section; “Mamaroneck lacrosse edges Bronxville”; “Local efforts for Japan”; “What they’re reading” (Public library staff recommendations)

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Uptown Messenger

Posted by jessdrkn on April 30, 2011

Location: New Orleans 

Focus: “News Politics Crime Events” in Garden District and Carolltown areas of New Orleans, but follows news citywide; Special feature: NolaWiki, “the contextual arm of”; The Wiki was formed to archive stories and information from the primary news site

Started: September 2010

Staff: publishers Robert Morris and Sabree Hill, former traditional media journalists; they use Society of Professional Journalists ethical reporting standards for their site

Funding: advertising, donations, will begin membership program; site is part of parent company Nola Messenger


From About: is a local, independent online source of news, commerce and knowledge for Uptown New Orleans that had its formal launch in September 2010.

Every day at, you’ll find neighborhood-level coverage of government and politics, crime, business and community events. We will tell the stories of Uptown New Orleans and its people through traditional articles and photos, as well as extensive use of the video and live-blogging made possible by the Internet.

The primary coverage area of runs roughly from the Garden District and Carrollton, but we’ll cover news of interest to our readers wherever it takes place.

Sample stories: “36 hours Uptown: Government meetings and cultural events”; “6th District’s anti-crime march: ‘I felt very safe with all the officers around me’”; “Former NOCCA school sold for $2.5 million to developers who ‘just wanted to save the building’”; “Proposed Lower Garden District film studio ekes out planning commission approval”

Media mentions: Gambit: Best of New Orleans article, “Reporting from your block… Kevin Allman on Uptown Messenger, a hyperlocal news site that is at the forefront of a big trend in journalism”

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Dallas South News

Posted by jessdrkn on September 19, 2010

Location: Dallas, Texas 

Focus: Covering news, lifestyle and events in south Dallas, an area with a 500,000 population; information categories include politics (local, state and national), education, environment, sports, media, religion, the arts, and Jr. reporters; links to some neighborhood or other local blogs. Opinion pieces and news about nonprofit organizations in the area are also featured.

Started: 2009

Staff: Editor is Shawn P. Williams, who ran the Dallas South blog for three years, according to a press release about the site’s launch, which also said the Dallas South News “will utilize professional journalists, citizen journalists, bloggers, and volunteers to cover issues that are relevant to residents of Southern Dallas. Board of Directors include media staff from traditional print and television outlets, community organizers, civic groups

Business: nonprofit supported by donations, contributions, advertising


From About:

Dallas South News is a nonprofit news organization utilizing technology, social media, and journalistic principles to empower and inform underserved communities.

Dallas South News uses a combination of traditional journalists, citizen journalists, and bloggers to provide a fresh perspective to news stories important to Southern Dallas communities. We cover local news as well as provide state and local commentary on a variety of topics.

Dallas South News holds workshops and seminars designed to empower residents to produce news stories using mobile phones, digital cameras, and mini video devices, as well as to utilize social media tools like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

Southern Dallas is home to over 500,000 people, which is more than the city of Atlanta. Dallas South News covers stories and events that are important to the residents of this area. Local media outlets have targeted other areas of North Texas as their core readers, putting this area on the backburner. DSN sees Southern Dallas as its core and will provide citizens there a much needed voice.

Sample stories: “Bill White on Texas race with Dallas South News Part 1 (audio)”; “Bill White Part 2: Candidate answers question of whether he’s avoiding President Obama (audio)”; “UNCF Rallies North Texas to Help Students Graduate”; “Dallas County District Attorney’s Statement Regarding Proposed Cuts to Public Safety”; “Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS Celebrates 10 Years of Cycling to Support Local HIV/AIDS Service Organizations”

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Bring Me the News

Posted by jessdrkn on September 2, 2010

Location: Minneapolis 

Focus: “Minnesota’s Best News…One Location.” Minnesota news curation and aggregation site; multimedia; according to Poynter article with founder, 10 percent of content is original reporting. Curated content comes from radio outlets, national news sites such as, television, newspapers, and press releases.

Started: September 2009

Staff: Founding partners are Rick Kupchella, a former broadcast investigative reporter television anchor in Minneapolis, and Don Smithmier, the former vice president of Capella University. Website lists 7 other employees, including a managing editor, anchor, news producer, and operations director.

Funding: commercial sponsorships; received $1 million investment, according to Aug. 9, 2010 MinnPost story


From About:

At, we look for the best stories that impact our readers: Minnesotans. We filter through hundreds of online news and non-traditional sources — and we’re committed to reporting of our own.

Developed by award-winning Twin Cities investigative journalist and TV news anchor, Rick Kupchella, BringMeTheNews delivers the most relevant stories around the state. We filter through hundreds of news stories every day and link to some of the best non-traditional sources available — like industry reports, experts and blogs.

We take the news to the airwaves. And online.

BringMeTheNews extends out from the Web site as a leading provider of important news and information in a growing network of radio stations — starting with Cities 97 FM, KOOL 108 FM and KFAN online.

We’re making it easy for you to know and discuss the latest news with your networks of friends, using social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

Sample stories: “Minneapolis: state cuts will eat into basic road repair” (; “U of M study links chemical in chili peppers with skin cancer” (; “State business group urges Pawlenty to ease up his resistance to federal health care money” (; “There are jobs out there, but employers are struggling to find the right candidates” (

Media mentions: article “How a Former TV News Anchor Started a Profitable Online News Site” at; Hart Van Denburg’s blog Telling Stories, a Q&A with Mr. Kupchella after site launch

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The Jersey City Independent

Posted by jessdrkn on August 9, 2010

Location: Jersey City, New Jersey

Focus: “The JCI” is a “grassroots” community news site; information categories include news, arts, politics, three contributor blogs, cultural calendar. Staff publishes a magazine, NEW, twice a year. One of the blogs, Mamarama, about a single mom, is by a local resident with a corresponding public access television program.

Started: 2008

Staff: Jon Whiten and Shane Smith are co-publishers, according to site masthead. Whiten is the editor. Other staff are a sales manager, associate editor, writer, photographer, and 10 regular contributors.

Business: nonprofit; advertising and donation-supported


From About:

The Jersey City Independent is the alternative news and culture source for Jersey City. JCI provides quality journalism to a city that desperately needs it, covering hard news, community news, politics and culture, with the ultimate goal of a better-informed citizenry, more accountable government and increased civic participation. The Independent also uses emerging technologies to shine a light on local government and give citizens greater access to public information that government entities are often reluctant to publish.

Sample stories: “Residents and Officials Come Out in Force Against Proposed Gas Pipeline,”; Halfway through 2010: Mixed News on Jersey City Foreclosure”; “Drought Watch Issued for Hudson County”; “Housing Authority Holding Public Hearing on ‘One-Strike’ Eviction Rule Next Week”; “For Farmers Market Week, New Jersey’s Agriculture Secretary Challenges Residents to Eat Locally”;

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Sacramento Press

Posted by jessdrkn on July 11, 2010

Location: Sacramento, Calif.

Focus: News and information about Sacramento, California’s capitol city. Information categories include Front Page, Business, Culture, Politics, Sports, and Sunday Best.

Started :2008

Staff: co-founded by Geoff Samek, and Ben Ilfeld, who is the chief operating officer; six other employees include an editor in chief, a managing editor, three staff reporters, and a sales manager.

Business: Castle Press LLC, for-profit, advertising supported; heading toward profitability

From About Us:

The Sacramento Press will be the most comprehensive, local news source and information center for the Sacramento Metropolitan Area.

We are a strictly online newspaper. Our writers are primarily volunteer Community Contributors.

We combined the best tools on the web and built an outstanding platform from scratch. This platform enables people to tell stories about their neighborhoods and have thoughtful conversations about these stories. Then our editors place the best content on the front page and section pages to highlight great work.

We are a for profit business, but we consider ourselves a public trust. The original concept of the corporation was a balance between allowing people to join together for a common goal with some profit potential and demanding that the corporation provide a public service to the nation. In our case, we will provide valuable services to the neighborhoods of Sacramento while showing that this kind of community journalism can be profitable.

Sample stories: “Mayor’s Team Chooses K Street Developers”, “Farm stand coming to McKinley Park”, “Beer Pong champs hail from Sac”, “Second Saturday=Lots to do”, “Utilities measure sparks debate”

Here’s an interview with Geoff Samek by Bill Densmore, at the Journalism That Matters un-conference in Detroit in June 2010 (I also attended).

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New Hartford Plus

Posted by jessdrkn on April 17, 2010

Location: New Hartford, Connecticut 

Focus: “Linking our community”; information categories include Around NH, Letters/Commentary, Meetings Around Town, News Updates; extensive blogroll of civic groups, municipal offices

Started: January 2009 (archive established)

Staff: all volunteer; Maria Moore is editor, main reporter, photographer; Bob Moore for technical support on the web; other contributors are an at-large reporter and an ad sales person

Funding: advertising sales


From About Us:

The NewHartfordPlus crew members are New Hartford residents who volunteer their time to report for NewHartfordPlus. They do this because they recognize the community-building potential of an independent, locally-run news medium. Crew members’ reports bring New Hartford news and New Hartford happenings to the New Hartford community.

Sample stories: “Town meeting approves date, wording of referendum”; “Debbie Ventre receives ‘Extraordinary Volunteer’ award”; “Full-time custodian position available: New Hartford schools”; “Wanted: Pinewood Derby sponsors

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VT Digger

Posted by jessdrkn on April 17, 2010

Location:  East Hardwick, Vermont

Focus: statehouse and other news and information coverage around state; “Nitty, gritty in-depth news for Vermont”; “Led by journalists, powered by the public”; sections include Business, Opinion, Energy and the Environment, Digger Digest (business and org press release page), Living Standards, State of the State

Started: September 2009

Staff: Anne Galloway is editor, founder; five contributors for reporting, photography, web design. Ms. Galloway is a former Sunday editor of the Rutland Herald and Times Argus.

Funding: nonprofit: donations, sponsorships and grants


From About: is a nonprofit, statewide news Web site dedicated to coverage of government, business and community life issues.

Our mission is to enhance democracy through in-depth, interactive journalism.

Our objective is to mine the gaps in Vermont news coverage. We seek to support existing media outlets.

At, we are creating a virtual, public newsroom that embraces the energy of citizen journalism while abiding by the standards of traditional journalism.

We believe readers want to have a say in what’s covered and how it’s reported. Readers also need reliable information. That’s where the journalists come in. We will vet and verify all information from readers to create comprehensive, accurate reports.

Sample stories: “House to vote on sweeping changes to state government today”; “Economically challenged? Agency looks to eliminate funding for prominent ‘new economy’ programs”; “Keep Local Farms lands two contracts”; “Bill divorces land values from snowmobile trails”

Media mention: “How a layoff spawned a nonprofit site in less than a year” Nieman Lab story

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