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.
- “News” is the most common types of content reported by survey respondents (100 sites, 83%). 91 sites (75%) say they provide original reporting, and 87 sites (72%) report providing opinion. Seven sites (6%) report that they aggregate content and do not produce original content.
- 41 online news sites (34%) report no full-time people, and another 37 (31%) report one full-time person. 49 online news sites (40%) report that no one gets paid for their online efforts, and 18 (15%) report that one person is paid.
- 76 online news sites (63%) report that no one receives health insurance from their online news outlet. Seven percent (8 sites) report that one person receives health benefits through the online site.
- Advertising is the most common funding source for online news, reported by 45 sites (37 percent). 38 sites (31%) reported “Funding? Do coins from my piggy bank count?” as an answer to the question. 31 sites (26%) reported they were part of a for-profit company, and 21 (17%) reported they were part of a nonprofit.
- Approximately 8.3 million visitors used Chicago-area online news properties in May 2010, according to Compete.com data of individual Chicago websites, resulting in 20 million visits to Chicago-area new news sites in May. While print circulation for major dailies continues to decline, visits to their online properties continues to grow.