Media entrepreneur Geoff Dougherty ran two multimedia news ventures into the ground. Now, the embattled Chicago Reader has hired him as associate publisher. Maybe they didn’t read his press. Here’s a look at the track record the Reader’s new owners may have missed.
When the Chicago blogosphere’s star local news site, Chitown Daily News, suddenly folded in early September due to dwindling finances, editor Geoff Dougherty promised to return ‘within eight weeks’ with a new, more sustainable local news site. True to his word, this week in Crain’s Chicago Business, Dougherty announced the upcoming debut of Chicago Current…a monthly print publication with a companion website. Huh?
On the last Saturday in August, I and two dozen other bloggers from across Chicago got together for the C-BOM: Community Blogging & Online Media meetup at the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago. We arrived to discuss ways to make local blogging financially sustainable.
On Chicagosphere I asked whether the Chicago Sun-Times union truly understands the endgame faced by their paper and journalism in general, calling out the Chicago Reader’s Michael Miner along the way for suggesting that columnists be forced to ditch commentary in favor of strict news analysis. There’s nothing I find more tiresome than yet another reporter throwing the rest of the world under the bus for the failings of their own field.
Last week’s sudden shut-down of Chitown Daily News means one fewer online source for independent community news about the Windy City. If you’re hoping to find a local online news site, here’s a look at the best of what’s left.
As initially reported on Gapers Block, the Windy City’s leading independent local news website, Chitown Daily News, has laid off its reporting staff and is shutting down, to re-tool as a for-profit venture. The surprise news comes in the wake of the C-BOM bloggers meetup called last month to discuss ways to make financial ends meet on the local blogosphere.
If news is inherently a shared effort on the Internet, why are traditional news outlets trying to monopolize it with ham-fisted behaviors that violate the accepted norms of online community?