Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Texas Tribune will compete with public policy coverage, original reporting

Congrats to Texas Monthly publisher Evan Smith who recently announced he'll leave his current position to launch a nonprofit media venture, The Texas Tribune, as an online, state-level news organization competing for coverage with the dailies from an entirely Internet-based platform. According to the Austin Statesman:

Evan Smith will become CEO of the Texas Tribune, a venture he's been working on for several months with John Thornton, a general partner of the Austin Ventures venture capital firm.

The Texas Tribune is intended to be a nonprofit entity that will publish original reporting — to be made available for free on the Tribune's Web site — and organize conferences and other events.

Smith said there will be two coverage areas: state politics and public policy. He envisions the Texas Tribune pursuing "deep-dive reporting on the big issues that are affecting Texas," such as low voter turnout, border issues, education, energy and the environment.

They also got a nice writeup in the New York Times' Media Decoder blog. Emily Ramshaw of the Dallas News was the first MSM reporter to announce she's jumping ship and joining the new venture, as announced on their Facebook Page. (You can also sign up here for announcements about their launch.) Good luck to all! If anybody can pull this off, Evan's probably just the guy to do it.


Anonymous said...

So who becomes CEO at the Monthly, Pink?


Anonymous said...

Let's hope that Smith and Thornton do real journalism. If their model is a sort of state version of The New York Times, then forget it.

Will they be committed to honesty? Will they copy the AP-style of habitual lying, euphemisms and obsequiousness to the rich and powerful?

Here in Houston there's a daily newspaper that simply takes HPD and Harris County SO press releases, rewrites them to edit out descriptions of suspects, and then prints them as "news." They have no problem describing the color of the car that suspects drive off in, but frequently they simply edit out the description of the suspects themselves.

The same newspaper repeats the words of Obama, Clinton and Holder as gospel.

Their readership shrinks, their paper physically is smaller than it was, and their columnists constantly snipe at bloggers.

I hate the term "investigative journalist." If you call yourself a journalist, and you're not investigating, then what exactly are you doing? Serving as a stenographer to power?

I can't wait to see their venture.