Introduction by Thom Clark

Image by Ruthieki on Flickr.com

More than eight million visitors engaged with 146 Chicagoland online news and blog sites during May 2010, according to The NEW News 2010: The Second Annual Survey of the Chicago Area’s Online News Ecosystem, produced by Community Media Workshop for The Chicago Community Trust.

The online news ecosystem continues to grow while traditional media outlets retool and embrace the web.  Use of video is growing, experiments with hyper-local news sites continue and the line between bloggers and niche news continues to blur.

But despite the apparently large number of consumers of online information, it doesn’t appear there has been any explosion in the number of people actually earning a living producing this information. As was the case in last year’s NEW news report, most of the online sites surveyed by the Workshop rely heavily on unpaid bloggers and reporters and piggy bank financing. Indeed, more than 60 percent of sites surveyed by the Workshop had no more than one person working full time on the site. A similar percentage reported that no one receives health insurance from their online news outlet. Read the rest of this entry »

Key Findings

Of the 146 online news sites identified in this report, CMW is publishing a survey of 121 sites about what they do, how many people work on the effort and how they fund their operations.

Key findings include:

  • Blogs are the most popular type of site in the survey (48 sites, 40%), followed by niche news sites (44 sites, 36%).
  • Sites by traditional/mainstream news organizations made up 7% of the sites in the survey (8 respondents).
  • YouTube is the most popular audiovisual media online sites reported using in the survey: 30% of sites (36 sites) report YouTube channels.


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