Great example from Texas for all British online news sites

April 4, 2010

…and it’s all here, folks.

Strikes me as incredibly interesting that a news site project, the Texas Tribune, has amassed more than 200,000 unique users per month since launching. The online news site, which has a staff of 11 reporters according to Roy Greenslade’s Guardian report, also has grown to more than 1 million page views per month.

It has been a huge success thusfar. What, you may be asking, is their secret? It’s a not-for-profit journalism website.

The debate around paid-for vs. free content online rages on. And it certainly looks as if the Tribune is calling a compelling shot for the free content model. It’s clean, well presented, full of rich, strong content, and a great team of reporters and bloggers.

Where can we see British online news sites learning from this American example? There are hints of it here and there, of course.

The concept of free content is largely the standard approach in the States, but British audiences have also followed their lead – trying to get an online audience to pay for content is one of the biggest challenges facing British businesses operating online.

I believe that any online audience will pay for premium-level, unique, value-adding content if the purchasing/marketing conditions are set in place accordingly. And I also believe that readerships value quality journalism and finger-on-the-pulse blogging content, increasingly in equal measure. And both, ultimately, have their rightful place online.

Just look at sites like Mashable. 2.4 million readers, hugely successful revenue streams in place for Pete Cashmore, and growing.

What can we learn from examples such as the Texas Tribune and Mashable? There is, indeed, money to be made from quality content online.

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2 Responses to “Great example from Texas for all British online news sites”

  1. My business partner ran across your article and brought it to my attention as I am highly interested in the changing face of media and how profit ventures can compete with the non-profit entities. It seems these non-profits are developed out of self interest and can be beneficial to the creator, without charging a fee or providing advertising. However, I do not feel they have to be mutually exclusive and technology is changing so fast, it´s important to stay adaptable.

    I am an expat (american) ¨TEXAN¨ living in Spain, so I am all the more impressed that you have found this and given praise to ¨my people¨,)

    Keep up the excellent writing!
    Best Regards,
    Ashleigh Russell
    Founder, My PR Europe

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Ashleigh

      Many thanks for your inputs – a Texan in Spain, must be quite an adventure. Cool site you have, too.

      It’s an interesting learning curve for many, and the Tribune example demonstrates is right up there with the best of the best. Long may it thrive.

      Good luck with your Barcelona adventures too, I hear it’s a beautiful City.

      Best wishes

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