Bottom Lines and Deadlines: Examining Local Digital News Startups’ Content Across Different Revenue-earning Sites

Monica Chadha, Summer Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examines independent news startups with self-reported revenue earnings in high-, middle-, and low-income categories and compares them in the areas of news content creation. The findings, based on a content analysis of 704 articles, reveal that low-revenue earners publish fewer stories than middle- and high-revenue earning sites. For-profit sites publish significantly more in low- and mid-revenue earning categories but non-profits publish significantly more in high-revenue earning sites. Most stories are still covered by editorial staff, including articles in the field of entertainment, lifestyle/health and community events about people, usually considered the domain of citizen reporters. The discussion section contextualizes these findings and recommends future research could consider examining these sites separately rather than clubbing them under the umbrella of “digital local independent startups.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Content analysis
  • digital startups
  • entrepreneurial journalism
  • independent sites
  • local
  • Michele’s List
  • news startups
  • news topics
  • non-profit
  • sensationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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