Online news

What would it cost my Internet competitor?

So let’s assume somebody wants to set up an Internet-only competitor for your newspaper. Something that could deliver the same types of news you do, just online. A competitor for advertising dollars. Someone who would offer the news and photos and videos of your community, and probably at no cost to readers. You know how much it might cost another newspaper to come into town and set up a duplicate version of your operation – but how much would it cost an Internet start-up to come in and do exactly what you do, but do it online? Warren Webster, president of AOL’s Patch, which is doing just that, has a figure: 4.1 percent of what you are spending now, to duplicate everything you’re doing on the Web. Aaaarrrrgh! Check out this article. (And by the way: I talked with an editor at Patch last month, and she said they are already in the initial stages of getting ready to enter the Texas market.)

By Kathryn Jones Malone

Kathryn Jones Malone is co-director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism. She began her career as a staff writer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, then worked as a staff writer for the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News; as a contract writer for The New York Times; as a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine; as editor of the Glen Rose Reporter; and as a freelance writer for numerous state, regional and national magazines. She teaches journalism at Tarleton State University.