Redundant reporters launch self-funded news websites

NEW YORK - A dozen journalists from the defunct Rocky Mountain News have banded together to launch an online magazine, the Rocky Mountain Independent, funded by the writers themselves.

The Rocky Mountain News, the Pulitzer winning EW Scripps-owned daily, ceased publication in late February, two months away from its 150th anniversary.

In March, a number of reports from the paper announced they were developing a new online publication, called In Denver Times, with the goal of signing up 50,000 subscribers.

The group fell well short of their goal, only signing up 3,000 subscribers, which caused the website's initial investors to pull out.

A dozen writers and editors from the Rocky Mountain News and In Denver Times then pooled their own cash to launch the Rocky Mountain Independent.

This time around the Rocky Mountain News staffers will focus only on original content.

Steve Fosters, one of the owner-editors and former sports editor at the Rocky Mountain News, said the paper will work with a smaller news staff and tighter budget, focussing on local, original content, instead of newswire and aggregated editorial like the larger papers.

The group plans to charge for access to its website, about $4 a month, or $2 a month if users sign up as a 'Founding Member' for the first year.

The site will also be supported by online advertising.

For their subscription to the site users gain access to other premium content, the ability to comment on stories and chat with RMI's staff about the news of the day, and enjoy stories with limited advertising.

The launch of the Denver sites follows that of The Seattle Post Globe, which was started by staff who previously worked on the Heast owned Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The Seattle Post Globe is looking for donations from its readers to help fund the site. In a statement it said it had enough funds to "keep going for at least three more weeks".

"In the beginning we did this as volunteers. We're still mostly doing this as volunteers.

"Thanks to your donations, we've been able to begin paying a little -- but far less than what it will take to get off unemployment.

"We're going to keep doing this as long as we can. But we're going to need your support."

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