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Crosscut is a nonprofit news site that covers politics, the arts, and culture in the Pacific Northwest, with an emphasis on analysis over breaking news.
The site specializes in lengthy, analytical pieces and is aimed at educated, influential readers. It also aggregates local and national news from other online sources. In 2012, it briefly ran columns from the former Seattle news startup PubliCola following that site’s short-lived closing.
Crosscut began as a for-profit site, but it switched to a nonprofit model in 2009, slowing its advertising sales and adding memberships and grants. It began its nonprofit status with $150,000 in donations and grants, including $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It reduced staff and hours in summer 2012 because of falling revenues.
Topix is a network of aggregated local news and community forums. Topix was launched in 2004 in Palo Alto, Calif., by the founders of the Open Directory Project. Three newspaper companies — Gannett, Knight-Ridder, and the Tribune Co. — each bought a quarter of the company in 2005. The site claims about 125 million page…