Real Journalists Scraping By Online

I don’t mind saying I’m fascinated by this story on startups in online journalism.
At the center of the piece is, the creation of San Diego venture capitalist and entrepreneur, Buzz Woolley, and a rag tag crew of journalists swimming to shore from sinking print vehicles.

“Information is now a public service as much as it’s a commodity,” Wolley says. “It should be thought of the same way as education, health care. It’s one of the things you need to operate a civil society, and the market isn’t doing it very well.”

But Wolley’s not-for-profit startup is. The online paper has already sent corrupt local politicians packing.

“Voice is doing really significant work, driving the agenda on redevelopment and some other areas, putting local politicians and businesses on the hot seat,” said Dean Nelson, director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

VoiceofSanDiego has an Alexa Rank of 76,835, compared to the Union Tribune’s with a rank of 3,457. But Voice is four years old with a staff of 11 people.
The article also mentions these entrepreneurial, but non-profit, news startups: CrossCut in Seattle; MinnPost in the Twin Cities; and The St. Louis Beacon.
I look forward to reading all these pubs from here on. If there’s one in your city, please give us a heads up in the comments.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David,
    I’m from Minneapolis and I’m proud to call MinnPost our own. It is absolutely, without a doubt, eating the Star Tribune’s and Pioneer Press’ lunch.
    I attended a panel discussion last night at the University of Minnesota and on the panel were editors from the Strib and PiPress, along with Joel Kramer, Editor and CEO of MinnPost. The topic was “Does Journalism Have a Future.” Needless to say, none of the panelists gave a compelling answer, but Kramer’s model, it appears, is the most viable moving forward. Kramer’s view is in lock step with Wolley’s: Journalism is a public good and it needs to viewed as such. The only problem is that my generation (Millenials) consumes media like it’s air. It’s going to take a lot of work to change that perception, as it’s already metastasizing.