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Posts Tagged ‘California’

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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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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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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Intersections: The South Los Angeles Reporting Project

Posted by jessdrkn on July 15, 2009

Location: Los Angeles intersectionssouthlaproject

Focus: hyperlocal/community news in undercovered, ethnically diverse South L.A. neighborhoods around University of Southern California campus

Started: 2009

Writers/Employees: USC Annenberg School for Communication multi-media project; journalism professors and co-directors of the project are Bill Celis and Willa Seidenberg; journalism student reporters, contributors of stories submitted for print, online or radio; collaboration with school’s Annenberg Radio News, Watt Ways digital magazine and Metamorphosis project

Funding: Project chosen to receive J-Lab: Institute for Interactive Journalism grant; university-affiliated


The goal is to create a two-way street for South L.A. communities and the media; to generate more, much-needed stories; and to train a new generation of journalists for open-minded, culturally literate reporting.

Students working with the project will produce stories in print, broadcast and online forms. Stories will also increasingly appear in Spanish and Korean. The project will incorporate research conducted by the Metamorphosis Project for more substantive discussions about minority, ethnic and immigrant communities across Los Angeles.

Sample stories: ”New Flavors in South Los Angeles” (short video spotlighting new coffee shop, wine shop in area reflecting gentrification); “Crenshaw High School students salute arrested teacher”; “News Analysis: Proposed teacher layoffs signal deeper problems for troubled LAUSD”; “Rugby revolution is South Los Angeles”; “Storage auctions in South Los Angeles: A solution for unemployment?”

Other: USC press release on project

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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: “ has plans to add new investigative reporters and is expanding content to include new sections in the next few months.”

Funding: advertising, donations


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, 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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The Eastsider LA

Posted by jessdrkn on June 9, 2009

Location: Los Angeles theeastsiderla

Focus: Community news around Echo Park and “other neighborhoods in the northeast section of the City of Los Angeles”

Employees/Writers: Founded by Jesus Sanchez, former Los Angeles Times reporter



The Eastsider LA explores the joys, hassles, contradictions and general weirdness that defines Echo Park and the Eastside of Los Angeles. You can also expect news, history and tips on making the most of living in this corner of L.A.

Sample stories: “College may drop out of Glassell Park”; “News and notes from Boyle Heights, Echo Park and Silver Lake”; “The real estate market has turned ugly and Eagle Rock has the eyesore to prove it”

Other: Round up of more than two dozen links to area neighborhood, school, city council, real estate, and news sites

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LA Observed

Posted by jessdrkn on June 9, 2009

Location: Los Angeles laweekly

Focus: “Los Angeles media, politics and sense of place” blog; site is home to LA Biz Observed and Native Intelligence blog sections. Native Intel. is section for “LA Observed’s contributors at large” 

Launched: May 2003

Employees/Writers: Launched by Kevin Roderick, who is the site’s editor and publisher. Mark Lacter is LA Biz Observed business section editor. More than 20 contributor/authors.

From Mr. Roderick’s bio: “Kevin was an editor and staff writer at the Los Angeles Times for two decades and led the Los Angeles bureau of the late Industry Standard magazine. He is the author of two books about the city…”; his commentary airs weekly on KCRW-FM.

Funding: advertising — “LA Observed only accepts ads that are in good taste and that fit the style of the site in the sole judgment of the publisher”


LA Observed is an award-winning website devoted to independent reporting, informed commentary and selective linkage on the Los Angeles region and the news media.

Sample posts: “Tales of the LA Weekly,” “Big layoffs at Latham & Watkins,” “Dodgers having cash problems agan?”; LA Biz Observed, mostly aggregated stories from California and national media outlets; From Native Intelligence: “Lakers advance to the NBA finals” and “Field of weeds”

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Posted by jessdrkn on June 5, 2009

Location: San Francisco spotus

Focus: crowdfunded news, trend stories around San Francisco area; investigative

Launched: 2008

Employees/Writers: Founded by David Cohn, who is also director; staff of 2 — Mr. Cohn and Kara Andrade, a “five-year veteran of multimedia journalism, print and online, who uses social media to bridge the world of newspapers, technologists and entrepreneurs to present relevant, accessible and edgy stories”; freelance reporters are paid; 9-member board of advisors; 8-member community advisory board;

Funding: “community funded” (crowdfunded), non-profit project through the Center for Media Change; $340,000 seed money provided by the Knight Foundation; also sponsored by Full Circle Fund

Spot.Us pitches story ideas to the public, or receives story ideas from the public or journalists, at varying costs. The stories are funded through direct donation drives; the business model has received heavy press attention and is being closely watched by the industry as a possible journalistic funding alternative 

“1) People submit tips 2) Journalist pitch stories 3) People fund pitches 4) Stories are reported anyone can publish”


We are an open source project, to pioneer ‘community funded reporting.’ Through Spot.Us the public can commission journalists to do investigations on important and perhaps overlooked stories. … It’s a marketplace where independent reporters, community members and news organizations can come together and collaborate.

Sample stories: “Ethanol could be a weak link in state’s energy network”; “The return of the Hooverville: Car and tent cities on the rise in San Francisco”; “A day in the life of a turd: Sludge and lifecycle of human waste”; “In spite of gloom, Muni expects to improve commuter service”

Sample story pitches, unfunded as of June 5, 2009:  ”City budget blues: Covering San Francisco’s half-billion hole”, pitched by Public-Press, a SF nonprofit news outlet, $310 raised, $4,690 needed

“Almost funded” as of June 5, 2009: “Civilian oversight of police in Oakland — breaking the wall of silence”, $798 raised, $202 needed ; “The stories behind empty storefronts in the Mission”; “Bay Area toxic tour”, $1,193 raised, $307 needed

Other: Knight Foundation’s 5 Questions for David Cohn, here

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The San Francisco Appeal

Posted by jessdrkn on June 4, 2009

Location: San Franciscosfappeal

Focus: Online-only news source for SF, “San Francisco’s online newspaper” 

Launched: March 2009

Employees/writers: 16 contributors/staff, 4 interns. Unclear whether any are paid. Founded by Eve Batey, the former San Francisco Chronicle deputy online manager. Business: Appeal Media LLC

Content includes original news articles, multi-media, sports, entertainment; some aggregated material, photos, multi-media –  see “Everyone Else’s Top Headlines” news roundup including AP material


Sample stories: “Translink not BART ready yet”; “Police: SF to become fraud capital of world”; “Newsom: Loss of 49ers is SF’s economic gain”

Funding: Advertising

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