Sustainable Journalism? Who Cares?

February 8, 2013

Our community has been hit by yet another loss in the area of communications. EveryBlock abruptly shut-down on Thursday morning.

There was no way to save discussions or create a news tool from the ashes. There was no time. The corporate overseers at NBC pulled the plug and it is dead.

This comes on top of the efforts by our competitor, Center Square Journal, to reinvigorate themselves and the loss of OhSoWe in December. We kept a list of dead online efforts in 2012. It is incomplete, but it is stunning:

  • Chicago News Cooperative

  • Chicago Independent Advertising Network

  • A-Ville Daily

  • Chicago School Wonks

  • OhSoWe

  • Windy Citizen

  • Albany Park Post

While these sites are dying, new ones are springing into existence. For example 60625News was started last year and covers Lincoln Square and Albany Park. DNAInfo is well staffed, well funded and is challenging the major metro papers. Patch is new to the area and is aggressive. And the new site CPS299 is getting some traction.

Some 2012 ‘stars’ are hitting trouble:

  • Journatic- ethics issues

  • Groupon- business model

  • Patch- failed to reach revenue goals

  • Facebook- business model

Here’s our question. What is needed?

If we proposed a not for profit that would fit one need, what would that need be?

One thing we see shared among the dead, and not really answered by the new sites is a forum type site (think Facebook, Windy Citizen, EveryBlock and OhSoWe).

We’ll post this to our Facebook page. We will answer questions, but invite you to participate, there, in a conversation with your neighbors about what is needed moving forward.

(This post originally appeared in our email.  To join the conversation, please comment below or even better, on our Facebook page. Thanks)

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