Entrepreneurs Work to Innovate Journalism Online

Block-rockin' beat journalism

Everyblock: Block-rockin' beat journalism

I’ve said before that it might take entrepreneurs and innovators to find the new model for how journalism will operate online. Today, Crain’s Chicago Business has a video news story on three such innovators and the models they’re trying out. Too bad none of them know how to make money!

First, there’s The Windy Citizen, a Digg-like blog that allows Chicagoans to post and share links to Chicago stories, then vote the best of the best onto the site’s front page. It also boasts a network of more than 40 blogs that cover several aspects of the Windy City. The there’s EveryBlock, which aggregates news stories published by others and serves them to readers based on location. So, if you search for news in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, the service brings you links to news stories that took place in that neighborhood, local crime reports, local new business filings, real estate listings, public document filings and photos.

Another business, The Printed Blog, aggregates blog content, publishes it in print with advertising, and distributes the finished product in select neighborhoods. Advertising is aimed at local retailers, who are guaranteed hyper-targeted delivery based on neighborhood-level distribution. The New York Times and Wired have done stories.

One of the entrepreneurs in the Crain’s video report on these companies notes that great innovations often come from entrepreneurs who have little to no experience in the field they ultimately transform. That might well be the trick in how journalism makes the digital transition.

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