I don’t mind saying I’m fascinated by this story on startups in online journalism.
At the center of the piece is VoiceofSanDiego.org, 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 SignOnSanDiego.com 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.