One of our group bloggers here, Geoff Dougherty, founder of the Chi-Town Daily News, is the focus of an extended profile that appears in Miller-McCune magazine. The profile was written by one of my former Mercury News colleagues, Ryan Blitstein, who uses Dougherty’s story to explore some themes that have emerged on this blog: The possiblities of citizen journalism and the sustainability of the non-profit news model.
“Civic entrepreneurs across the country are offering multiple visions of local journalism’s future, from technology-heavy, amateur-dependent nonprofit sites to more traditional approaches to news that just happen to be tax-exempt and distributed online, with a variety of nonprofit efforts that fall between those poles. Questions remain as to which of these alternatives to the daily newsprint paper will stay afloat if or when the foundation money — now seemingly plentiful — runs out. But as media executives and editors struggle to chart a course through the information age, these tiny nonprofits — from Chicago and Minneapolis to New Haven and San Diego — are, at the very least, trailblazers. Some have become crucial to keeping their communities informed. All share a challenge: growing an audience while learning to break even.”
Blitstein uses Dougherty’s work as a jumping off point to explore the emerging non-profit news model. It’s worth a read whether your interest is the journalism or the business side of the issue.