How an online newspaper can succeed - Page 2

No number of part-time bloggers and citizen journalists will ever be able to perform the watchdog role of a fully-staffed newspaper

And it's going to have to attract writers who are interested in communicating to a generation that has abandoned the Chron.

That means Hellman and the gang have to hire a respected editor — and vow not to interfere if the stories and editorials don't support the agendas of the members of the nonprofit board.

The nonprofit model is tricky for newspapers: foundations and big donors have their own interests, and they often want the organizations they bestow their largesse upon to behave in ways that are antithetical to good journalism. If this new group can make it work (and produce a locally- operated product — unlike the Chron, which is owned by Hearst Corporation in New York) we're all for it. But a new model of journalism in San Francisco will require more than a new publishing technology. That's going to be the hardest part.

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