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Key links:
Primary website:
publicola.net
Primary Twitter:
@publicolanews

PubliCola is an online local news organization in Seattle that focused on local and state politics and government reporting. It briefly folded in 2012 but reopened a month later as part of SagaCity Media’s Seattle Met.

The site — its nickname was “Seattle’s News Elixir” — was founded by Josh Feit with Sandeep Kaushik in January 2009, and had, at one point, four full-time employees, plus several contributors. The site’s name derived from the Roman consul Publius Valerius PubliCola, whose name was used as a pseudonym by the authors of the Federalist Papers.

PubliCola closed in 2012 because its revenue, particularly from advertising, was not consistent enough to support the site. Two of its columns briefly moved to fellow Seattle news startup Crosscut, but the site was bought by SagaCity Media and folded into its publication Seattle Met as PubliCola@SeattleMet.

PubliCola specializes in state and local government issues, aiming to appeal to public-affairs insiders such as bureaucrats, lobbyists and activists.

The site brought in most of its revenue through display advertising, though Feit received seed funding from two investors. The site also experimented with hosting events and charging for some content.

 

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
May 15, 2012 / Antonio Jiménez
PubliCola, 2009-2012: How a Seattle news startup built an audience but not a business — Founder Josh Feit says the operation could never gain the business-side momentum needed to turn the local politics site into a sustainable organization....
July 20, 2009 / Michael Andersen
Man bites dog: How hardcore policy reporting is paying the bills at a Seattle web startup (in 4 easy steps) — Beat reporters have always had to guard against going native: seeing stories with the narrow viewpoint of your sources, sliding into jargon, getting tangled in micro-stories that matter only to insiders, losing touch wit...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: June 21, 2012.
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