Knight Center
Knight Center


Two U.S. online, non-profit news sites fold under financial pressure

Two award-winning U.S. non-profit, online news ventures have announced they are closing, according to the Columbia Journalism Review. Both news sites are published by the American Independent News Network.

The Washington Independent, which launched in January 2008, announced this week that as of Dec. 1, it will shut down.

"The idea was to combine hard-nosed investigative reporting with all the web had to offer: the nimbleness of real-time coverage, the interactivity made possible by this new thing called blogging, and the ability to create a narrative that was bigger than the sum of its parts," wrote editor Aaron Wiener in a goodbye article. "...But TWI was not just a journalistic experiment; it was also a financial one, and ultimately, the successes of the former couldn’t sustain the strains of the latter."

Also this week the New Mexico Independent announced it was closing shop.

David Bennahum, CEO of the American Independent News Network, told Laura McGann for the Nieman Journalism Lab that three main factors contributed to the failure of the sites: the economic crisis, not enough multi-year commitments from big donors, and not growing gradually.

The American Independent News Network still has a network of news sites in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas.

Other Related Headlines:
» Knight Center (Seeking sustainability: A nonprofit news roundtable (e-book))


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