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The Houston Chronicle is a daily newspaper owned by Hearst Corp. It is the second-largest newspaper in Texas and 14th-largest in the U.S., with 325,000 in combined print and online daily circulation as of 2012.
The Chronicle’s online operation has been praised for its innovation. A 2006 study conducted by NYU professor Jay Rosen named the Chronicle the best blogging newspaper in the U.S., and in 2009, the paper was a Pulitzer finalist for its online coverage of Hurricane Ike. The Chronicle was cited for its use of dedicated blogs, chats, databases, and reader reports to cover the hurricane.
During recent years, however, the paper’s online traffic has declined, going from more than 3 million monthly unique visitors in 2007 to 1.9 million in 2009 and 520,000 so far in 2011. In 2010, the Chronicle joined together with 5 other Texas-based Hearst newspapers to share content and reduce costs. It has also teamed up with the Austin-based Texas Tribune to do in-depth investigative work.
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit online news organization based in Austin, Texas, that focuses on political and civic issues. The site was founded in 2009 by venture capitalist John Thornton and former Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith. Thornton raised $4 million in startup funds for the site, including $1 million of his own money…