Monday, August 20, 2007

A New sort of Newsite?

A friend overseas pointed me to this May commentary from

There are fewer and fewer people subscribing to . . . local papers but how many of the local daily newspaper's readers subscribed simply to get what they couldn't get elsewhere, like national, international and entertainment news and tidbits on their hometown team? And as the Internet started to give them opportunities to find better coverage of the issues they were interested in, why wouldn't they have dropped the paper?. . . People are reading news, but fewer and fewer of them are reading newspapers.
I bolded the excellent point.
And the is…? According to the “About Us” on their website,

“We are the only professionally staffed, nonprofit online news site in the state focused on local news and issues. We will continue to operate with the support of individuals, foundations and businesses which, like you, recognize the importance of local news from an independent perspective.”

As near as I can tell, Voice of San Diego is an unprinted newspaper, existing entirely on the web with no restrictions or sign-in needed. They ask for money, which is reasonable. They're not obnoxious about it, which is very nice. And as they refer to their staff as "professional" I assume they are paid regularly.

In all honesty, the site looks like the website of any metropolitian newspaper. They’ve been online for two years. I can’t judge the content; I don’t live in San Diego. It may be great--or not.

It's an interesting experiment. I'd like to find a five-year calendar, so I can remind myself to check in with them and see how they’re doing, and what changes they’ve made by 2011.

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