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The site was founded in January 2009 by former employees of the East Valley Tribune, and its initial funding was provided by local political consultant Bob Grossfeld, the site’s publisher. The Guardian had three editorial employees.
The Guardian was available only to paid subscribers, who could read the site with plans ranging from $30 to $150 per month . Many of those subscribers were members of the Arizona State Legislature or lobbyists. The site also brought in revenue from advertising. It was profitable as of mid-2009.
In 2010, the site began commissioning polls and developed a free location-based iPhone app designed by Arizona State University students, which allows users to quickly see elected officials for their current location, as well as other political stats and contact information.
InvestigateWest is a Seattle-based nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative reporting on the environment, social justice, and health in the western United States. The site was launched in July 2009 by former Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalists. It has three full-time editorial employees, along with several contributors and interns, and it primarily syndicates its work to…