In San Francisco, Plans to Start News Web Site

From the New York Times:

In San Francisco, Plans to Start News Web Site

A wealthy investor, a university journalism school and a public radio station have joined forces to create a nonprofit local news Web site for the San Francisco area, in what may be the largest and most ambitious of dozens of similar local news operations that have cropped up around the country.
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F. Warren Hellman has granted the start-up $5 million.

Like their counterparts in markets like Chicago, San Diego, Seattle and the Twin Cities, the founders of the Bay Area news project say they want to fill some of the vacuum left by the drastic downsizing of the region’s newspapers.

What sets their venture apart is a $5 million initial grant from F. Warren Hellman, and the expertise and labor to be supplied by KQED-FM, which has a 28-person news staff, and the 120 students of the University of California, Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism….

Asked if such efforts could accelerate the decline of troubled Bay Area papers like The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Jose Mercury News, as some experts have predicted, Mr. Hellman said: “I think that’s a reasonable question. I think that demise might be inevitable, anyway. This might put journalism, broadly defined, on a much more stable foundation.”

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