Online news

Why Internet startups fail

Alan Mutter’s always-interesting blog, Reflections of a Newsosaur, draws some conclusions about Internet start-up news operations that are certainly of interest to Texas newspapers who may someday face competition from online-only media (some already do). The bottom line, Mutter says, is that frequently the startups are run by journalists who are interested primarily in producing a good news product. In other words, the focus is on good journalism rather than building the business model and focusing on how the startup will make enough money to survive. Journalists who start these Internet operations frequently assume that good journalism will make a way for itself. To borrow from the baseball movie, they assume that if you build a quality news medium, the readers will come and so will the advertisers. But they’re so busy with journalism, they neglect the how-am-I-going-to-make-any-money-off-this end.

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.