Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Laid off reporters making money online

David Westphal of USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review says several laid off reporters have figured out how to pay the bills by starting local news Web sites:
    Tracy Record and Patrick Sand, another husband/wife team who operate West Seattle Blog, are getting revenue in the high five figures. Debbie Galant, co-owner of Baristanet, earned more from the site than she did from her free-lance writing business last year. And Bob Gough, who runs Quincy News, pockets $1,000 a week in wages from his startup that serves an Illinois community of only 40,000.

    Gough, fired from his TV news job in the fall of 2007, may be Exhibit A for the potential of independent news sites. A one-man band, Gough has mined 40 Quincy advertisers, writes about the heart of civic and political life in town and is now hoping to expand by hiring additional staff. His two original investors are also thinking growth, looking at the possibility of replicating the Quincy News model elsewhere.


Tracy @ W. Seattle Blog said...

Just to clarify, we weren't "laid-off reporters." I was assistant news director at a Seattle TV station in November 2007 and fairly secure when we decided to take the plunge and turn our news site into a business. Of course, if I had stayed, who knows what would have happened - I was a middle manager, quite the endangered species now, and they didn't replace my position 1-for-1 after I left ... but I did leave quite voluntarily, without having been asked or even hinted-at. I *was* "laid off" in the dotbust of 2001 and fired from a radio job many years earlier, so I know how it goes, and wish the facing-joblessness journalists the very best of luck, whether they try the entrepreneurial world, or find something new in working-for-someone-else-land.

jim dlifford said...

Took a look at the Quincy News. It gets a lot of copy from other sources, particularly Chicago Trib. Does Gough pay for this news? No contact ###s that I saw. Seems the biggest job facing reporters is getting people to pay for their product.