CJR's Guide to Online News Startups

  1. Featured News Startup

    Connecticut Watchdog

    Hard-hitting consumer protection reporting

    connecticut.watchdog.pngEAST LONGMEADOW, MASS — The best businesses have a compelling origin story, and George Gombossy’s consumer protection website, Connecticut Watchdog, started... More >
     
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  1. Jan 30, 2012 03:48 PM

    Connecticut Watchdog

    Hard-hitting consumer protection reporting

    By Chris Benz

    connecticut.watchdog.png EAST LONGMEADOW, MASSACHUSETTS — The best businesses have a compelling origin story, and George Gombossy's consumer protection website, Connecticut Watchdog, started with a doozy. As of 2009, Gombossy had worked at the Hartford Courant for forty-one years: first as a reporter, then business editor, then as "The Watchdog," a consumer protection columnist. His picture hung on the side of "every bus in Hartford"...

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  2. Feb 23, 2012 05:33 PM

    Charlottesville Tomorrow

    Nonprofit news on growth, development, and local politics

    By Caitlin Kasunich

    charlottesville.tomorrow.png CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA — Although Charlottesville Tomorrow publishes a new story almost every day and has a close partnership with the local newspaper, it wasn't supposed to turn out that way. In early 2005, its founders simply wanted to launch a website that citizens could visit for objective, nonpartisan information on growth, development and local politics. "We set out to just be a community...

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  3. Feb 22, 2012 01:38 PM

    Welles Park Bulldog

    News and sports for Chicago's North Side

    By Ian Fullerton

    welles.park.bulldog.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — The Welles Park Bulldog takes its name from a picturesque public park in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, and delivers insight and opinion on politics, culture, and sports for a dense stretch of residential and mixed-use boroughs on Chicago's North Side. The site's founder and publisher, Patrick Boylan, first had the idea that would eventually become the Bulldog in 2009. "I had...

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  4. Oct 25, 2011 04:50 PM

    First Arkansas News

    News, musings, and pre-television radio serials

    By Tyler Jones

    FirstArkansasNews.png BENTON, ARKANSAS — "Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney." Scary words if you're a city official caught using public property for campaigning purposes. Just two weeks after launching First Arkansas News, founder Ethan C. Nobles, whose 'about' statement above is brief but bold, broke such a story after filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the e-mail records of Arkansas...

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  5. Jan 30, 2012 03:07 PM

    The Arizona Guardian

    Niche political news for a state everyone's watching

    By Tom Marcinko

    the.arizona.guardian.png PHOENIX, ARIZONA — Arizona exports political news like other states produce oranges or cheese. When Democratic media consultant Bob Grossfeld and a handful of veteran journalists launched the Arizona Guardian web-based news service in January 2009, they were well aware they were setting up shop in a state with a lively political scene. And that was before Arizona's headline-making "show-me-your-papers" immigration bill, the...

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  6. Jan 4, 2011 01:33 PM

    New England Center for Investigative Reporting

    Hard-hitting investigations in and around the Boston area

    By Colin Fleming

    newenglandcir.png BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — In less than two years and with an annual budget of less than $500,000, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has taken on the state division of banks and the Salvation Army. They've brought down a high-level public official, and had their work appear in publications across the state and in every medium imaginable. And they've...

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  7. Dec 15, 2011 11:32 AM

    The Lo-Down

    News for New York's Lower East Side

    By David Riedel

    the.lo.down.png NEW YORK, NEW YORK — When husband and wife Ed Litvak and Traven Rice started The Lo-Down, a hyperlocal news site reporting on Manhattan's Lower East Side, it wasn't with the intention of creating a business. Litvak, a television news producer, and Rice, a filmmaker, took the site live in January 2009 after two years living in the neighborhood, and thought of it...

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  8. Jan 4, 2011 01:59 PM

    I-News

    Investigative journalism with statewide import and local impact

    By Colin Fleming

    rkymtninvestigate.png DENVER, COLORADO — On December 16, 2010, Laura Frank, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network, delivered her commencement speech for the University of Colorado's soon-to-be-defunct journalism school. Frank was optimistic about the future of the industry: "I now recognize you actually are embarking on this adventure at one of the most exciting times - perhaps the most exciting time...

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  9. Feb 20, 2012 01:54 PM

    Cronkite News

    Arizona State University's student-reported website and news wire

    By Tom Marcinko

    cronkite.news.png PHOENIX, ARIZONA — Student journalists now learning their trade by filing stories for Cronkite News were born long after Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) signed off the CBS Evening News in 1981. A part of Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Cronkite News publishes news by student journalists on its own website, and produces stories for the Associated Press, McClatchy-Tribune...

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  10. Jan 5, 2011 08:37 PM

    The Chicago News Cooperative

    Newspaper-style journalism for the Chicagoland area

    By Alex Fekula

    chicagonewscoop.png CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — [UPDATE: On February 20, 2012, Chicago News Cooperative editor and CEO James O'Shea announced that CNC was suspending its website, as well as its contributions to The New York Times, in order to " reassess our operations and determine if there is a more sustainable path to the future."] The Chicago News Cooperative was famously the first outside news organization...

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  11. Feb 13, 2012 04:17 PM

    ARLnow.com

    Community, crime, and culture news for a D.C. suburb

    By Tyler Jones

    arlnow.com.png ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — Shortly after noon on Aug. 25, 2010, Dimas Pinson was waiting for the Orange Line train at the Virginia Square Metro station in Arlington, Va. when he heard someone shout, "Get off the tracks!" A man suffering from an epileptic seizure had fallen onto the tracks across the platform and was unresponsive. As a train appeared in the tunnel, Pinson, a retired Marine Corps...

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  12. Feb 16, 2012 01:09 PM

    Grand Prairie Reporter

    News by a former USPS employee turned reporter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

    By David Riedel

    grand.prairie.reporter.png GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS — "I'm a reporter. I am not a journalist," says Grand Prairie Reporter founder Bob Fitch. "I don't want to degrade the craft of journalism. I can't write and paint a picture with words." Fitch's writing style is utilitarian and not nearly as bad as he claims, but he does try to keep stories on the Reporter at 250 words...

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  13. Feb 15, 2012 11:43 AM

    South King Media

    A network of six hyperlocals in Washington State

    By Maura R. O'Connor

    south.king.media.png BURIEN, WASHINGTON — In 2007, Scott Schaefer, an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer who worked on shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Arsenio Hall Show, decided to create some comedy websites from his home in King County, Washington. He quickly discovered that getting advertising or creating revenue for comedy sites was extraordinarily difficult. "You're competing at a national level," says Schaefer. "Nothing was...

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  14. Jan 13, 2012 11:47 AM

    Baltimore Brew

    Hard news for Charm City

    By Alex Fekula

    baltimore.brew.png BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — After seventeen years as a staff writer and reporter at The Washington Post, Fern Shen opted to take a buyout amid significant downsizing at the paper. But she wanted to stay in the news business, and felt that Baltimore, the city she called home throughout her time at the Post, needed "more journalistic boots on the ground," as well as "something more...

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  15. Jan 28, 2012 01:39 PM

    Colorado Public News

    Health care coverage for Centennial State newspapers and television stations

    By Alex Fekula

    colorado.public.news.png DENVER, COLORADO — With layoffs at the Denver Post and the closing of the Rocky Mountain News in 2009, few places have lost as much reporting talent in recent years as the Mile High City. Ann Imse, a former reporter for the Rocky who had previously worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press during the collapse of the Soviet Union, saw the writing on...

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