09.28.2009 03:00 PM
Non-Profit, Online News Operation Planned for Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.: A public broadcaster, a J-School and a local
businessman are collaborating on a non-profit news operation in the Bay Area. KQED
Public Media, the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of
Journalism and Warren Hellman are launching an online news site. The Hellman
Family Foundation intends to provide a gift of $5 million as initial seed money
for the project. Once formed, it will seek 501c3 status and solicit support
through public donations.
“The operating name, Web address, and key staff of the project will be
announced in the near future,” a release from the triad said.
The operation will be staffed by professional journalists in conjunction with
KQED and the journalism school, doing in-depth local stories. The “primary
channels will be online and mobile, with public radio and television distribution
planned through KQED.” The group said it’s also discussing content
collaboration with The New York Times.
The impetus for the site was the decline in traditional news platforms. Newsrooms
at Bay Area newspapers have diminished by half over the last five years, the
“The impact is seen in the number of original, professionally written stories
about the Bay Area, which at one major regional newspaper has declined from 100
to 40 stories per day.”