This site list was last updated in June 2010. The list led to the establishment of Block by Block, a network of community news sites. Michele's List has been incorporated into the Block by Block website and updates are posted there.
New traditional sites are dominated by original content produced by professional journalists. While the newsroom staff may be smaller than in a traditional newspaper newsroom, these sites tend to have more journalists on staff than community or micro local sites. Many are embracing digital connectivity with their users, but traditional journalism is their bread and butter.
Most of these sites are powered with grant funding and are searching for a viable revenue model, perhaps one that mixes grants, donations, sponsorships, syndication and advertising. Among others, the Knight Foundation is putting significant money to start organizations of this type.
- Alaska Dispatch, with a small staff of professional reporters, covers news from across the state. Topics: Politics, energy, rural news. Revenue: Advertising. About Alaska Dispatch
- Newly established California Watch, led by veteran investigative journalist Mark Katches, aims to provide state coverage by the largest investigative reporting staff in the state. Topics: Money and politics, education, environment, health and welfare, public safety. Revenue: Grants, donations. About California Watch. Bonus points: Very nice looking site with useful maps, multimedia.
- Chicago News Cooperative was founded last fall with a staff of salaried professional journalists. Focus: Public policy and politics in the Chicago metro area. Revenue: Grants, sells content to New York Times. Bonus points: Founder/editor James O'Shea is not collecting a salary for the first year. About Chicago News Cooperative.
- CTMirror is focused on the Connecticut statehouse. Topics: State politics, state budget, education, elections, health, human services. Revenue: Grants, including a recent matching Community Information Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. (Disclosure: I advise CIC projects as a consultant to the Knight Foundation. And by the way, Knight is taking applications for the next round of grants.) Bonus points: The site will share coverage for free with other outlets. About CTMirror. Here's a recent piece on CTMirror from Poynter's Bill Mitchell.
- Gotham Gazette is a New York City site operated by the Citizens Union Foundation. Topics: City and state policy and politics. Revenue: Donations, advertising, foundation grants. Bonus points: Uses interactive games to engage users in solving civic problems. About Gotham Gazette.
- NEW! InDenver Times is the online publication created by 30 former Rocky Mountain News journalists after their former employer closed in early 2009. Topics: Local news, business, sports, entertainment, opinion. Revenue: Advertising, donations. About InDenver Times. See the post about InDenver Times from inothernews.us.
- The Lens, an initiative of the Center for Public Integrity, does investigative news and journalism about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast States. Topics: Money, politics, environment, schools, crime and punishment. Revenue: Grants, member donations, support from foundations. About The Lens.
- MinnPost: The mission of this nonprofit site, founded by CEO and Editor Joel Kramer, is ¿to provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota.¿ Topics: Revenue: Grants, advertising, sponsorship, donations. About MinnPost. Bonus points: Making inroads on a sustainable revenue model with emphasis on advertising and donations. (Here's what Kramer says about the financial outlook.) About MinnPost.
- New England Center for Investigative Reporting was founded by Boston journalists Joe Bergantino and Maggie Mulvihill and is based at Boston University College of Communication and uses student journalists to develop investigative projects. Topics: Watchdog reporting on state regulators and oversight. Funding: University support, membership/dongations. Bonus Points: Posts documents underlying its reports. About New England Center for Investigative Reporting.
- New Haven Independent is a professionally-staffed local news site in Connecticut, edited by Paul Bass and sponsored by the not-for-profit Online Journalism Project. Topics: Neighborhoods, government, politics, criminal justice, schools, business. Revenue: Foundation grants, advertising, donations. About New Haven Independent. Bonus points: With grant funding, recently spun off a sister site, the Valley Independent Sentinel (About), also professionally staffed, which serves five towns in Connecticut's Naugautuck Valley.
- NEW! New Jersey Newsroom was founded by a group of about 40 former Newark Star-Ledger journalists. Topics: Local, national, and international news, sports, business, entertainment, health, science/technology, life, opinion. Revenue: Advertising. About New Jersey Newsroom. See the post about the New Jersey Newsroom from inothernews.us.
- The New Mexico Independent, with a small staff of five, covers news from around the state. It is published by the American Independent News Network. Topics: Environment, immigration, health, local news. Revenue: Advertising, donations. About the New Mexico Independent. See the post about the New Mexico Independent from inothernews.us.
- NEW!New West, with a staff of about 20, covers news from across Montana. Topics: Politics, travel & outdoors, local news. Revenue: Advertising. About New West. See the post about New West from inothernews.us.
- NEW! Sacramento Press, with an editorial staff of five, covers local news in California's capital city. Topics: Local news, culture, politics, business, sports. Revenue: Advertising, outside consulting. About the Sacramento Press. See the post about Sacramento Press from the Knight Citizen News Network.
- St. Louis Beacon was founded by and is staffed by professional journalists, including editor Margaret Wolf Freivogel. Topics: Revenue: Grants, donations, memberships. Bonus points: Member of the Public Insight Network, which solicits citizen perspectives and experiences to inform journalism. About St. Louis Beacon.
- The San Francisco Appeal is an online newspaper for the San Francisco area. Topics: Local news, arts, culture, entertainment, sports. Revenue: Advertising.
- The Seattle PI last year joined the ranks of online only and it is still finding its footing in the news media lab that is Seattle. (More to come on Seattle's boom in micro local sites.) Topics: Local news, business, sports. Revenue: Advertising. Bonus points: May teach the rest of us something about the potential for a coporate (Hearst), purely for-profit site general news serving a large metro area. About the PI.
- NEW!Seattle PostGlobe was founded by by a group of former Seattle P-I journalists after it went online-only and drastically reduced its operations in March 2009. Topics: Local news, politics, sports, A&E. Revenue: Advertising. About the Seattle PostGlobe. See the post about the Seattle PostGlobe from inothernews.us.
- SF Public Press is a noncommercial, nonpartisan, non-advocacy, public-interest focused news site. It recently won the News Media award in the 2010 Freedom of Information awards from the Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California. Topics: Public policy and social trends, civics, streetscape, safety, schools, green, health, diversity, scene and economy. Revenue: Launched with a grant from the San Francisco Foundation, membership program funds and micro-financing on Spot.us. About SF Public Press.
- Texas Tribune is a lively nonprofit newcomer with a professional staff that covers all things politics in Texas. Topics: State government, politics, campaign finance, education, immigration, death penalty. Revenue: Grants, donations, sponsorships, memberships. (Here¿s Tribune Chairman John Thornton on the financial outlook.) Bonus points: Large data library. About Texas Tribune.
- The Tyee is a Vancouver, B.C. news site that uses professional journalists and seeks to publish stories that mainstream news sources ignore. The editor is David Beers. Topics: Government and public affairs, environment, justice system. Revenue: Advertising, donations. About The Tyee.
- Voice of San Diego, with a high-energy look and a carefully crafted mission, is a model for online city journalism done right. Topics: Politics, education, neighborhoods, public safety, housing, economy and quality of life. Revenue: Grants, donations, memberships, advertising. Bonus points: Investigative reporting. About Voice of San Diego.
- Wy.o.file provides public interest news about the state of Wyoming with a goal of supplementing what is offered by established media. Topics: Environment, energy, politics, culture. Revenue: Grants; another recent winner of a Knight CIC grant. Bonus points: Organization is hiring a development director - Job posting. About Wy.o.file.
Coming soon: Bay Area News Project.
National siblings: The focus of our project is local news and information, but I don't want to pass over mentioning important national investigative projects, including ProPublica, the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, and the Center for Public Integrity.