In Texas, It’s Go Big Or Go Home

Nonprofit news site, Texas Tribune, launched yesterday. The development is being covered by media outlets from coast to coast. But some of the best reporting is coming from inside Austin, as it should. Alt weekly, The Austin Chronicle, for instance, points out that there’s a lot of venture capital on the table.

Texas Tribune is paying Evan Smith, its new CEO and editor-in-chief $315,000 a year. Managing editor Ross Ramsey is making $165,000; technology director Higinio Maycotte, $120,000; and general manager Alisha Ring, $115,000; Brain Thevenot is the top-paid reporter at $90,000.

The Chron also points to a biting argument against nonprofit news:

“In the current arrangement, we’re substituting one flawed business model for another,” Slate columnist Jack Shafer recently wrote. “For-profit newspapers lose money accidentally. Nonprofit news operations lose money deliberately.”

Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard is on the other side of the fence. Their headline reads: “An impressive launch that feels web-native.”

About David Burn