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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.
OpenFile was a user-driven local news site based in Toronto, with affiliates in five other Canadian cities, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, and Vancouver, and Halifax. OpenFile was founded by Canadian journalist Wilf Dinnick in May 2010. The site relied on users to direct its news coverage, inviting them to start a “file” (the site’s founders chose the term to…