about  /   archives  /   contact  /   subscribe  /   twitter    
Share this entry
Make this entry better

What are we missing? Is there a key link we skipped, or a part of the story we got wrong?

Let us know — we’re counting on you to help Encyclo get better.

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Key links:
Primary website:
texastribune.org
Primary Twitter:
@texastribune

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

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 and $750,000 in grants from the Knight Foundation and Houston Endowment.

The Tribune is also supported by about 3,000 donating members, as well as corporate sponsors and dozens of both free and paid public events, on which it was on track to make $1.2 million in 2013. The site started with 16 staff members, including 11 journalists (it had grown to a staff of 50 and 18 full-time reporters by 2014), and a $1.6 million budget. The Tribune was profitable for the first time in 2012. By 2011, the site had raised $3.7 million and spent $4 million. It had raised about $11.8 million in total by early 2012, with a budget of $4.2 million.

In March 2011 the Tribune and The Bay Citizen were awarded a $975,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to develop an open source content management system specifically for news organizations. It received another $1.5 million grant from Knight in 2013 to refine its business model. All told, the Tribune had raised almost $11 million through January 2012. It projected $4.5 million in revenue for that year and was profitable. As of 2014, just more than half of its revenue came from corporate sponsorships and live events, with another 17% from individual donations, 17% from foundations, and 12% from memberships.

In 2014, the Tribune launched TribTalk, an opinion website that is also home to the organization’s native advertising program. The Tribune also owns Texas Weekly, a small weekly online political newsletter founded in 1984. The newsletter brings in revenue to cover about 15 percent of the Tribune’s expenses, and Thornton has mentioned plans to launch similar specialty publications.

The Tribune publishes its stories primarily on its website, though they are also available free to other Texas news outlets.

The Tribune has been involved heavily in social media and data journalism, initiatives for which it earned praise at its launch. In May 2010, Smith reported that the Tribune’s databases were responsible for more than a third of its 5.3 million page views after six months. For 2012 the site reported 5.7 million unique visitors and 40 million page views.

About the Tribune

Interview with former reporter Elise Hu:

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
July 11, 2018 / Per Westergaard and Søren Schultz Jørgensen
54 newsrooms, 9 countries, and 9 core ideas: Here’s what two researchers found in a yearlong quest for journalism innovation — The news media most successful at creating and maintaining ties with their readers, users, listeners and viewers will increasingly be media that dare challenge some of the journalist dogmas of the last century: the dogma...
June 18, 2018 / Christine Schmidt
A look at how foundations are helping the journalism industry stand up straight — Foundations across the U.S. are helping journalists watchdog the powerful — but who’s watching the foundations? The state of the journalism industry might be much more tattered right now if not for philanthropic ...
Jan. 16, 2018 / Ricardo Bilton
For news nonprofits, the tax overhaul is bringing new uncertainty about future donations — There are still a lot of open questions about the effects of the tax bill passed in December, but for nonprofit news organizations, the biggest concern is what kind of impact the new law will have on readers’ willi...
Oct. 4, 2017 / Laura Hazard Owen
The Shorenstein Center will figure out best practices for single-subject news sites, with $683K from Knight — Single-subject news sites are (obviously!) focused on single subjects, from education (Chalkbeat) to criminal justice (The Marshall Project) to gun violence (The Trace), but what do they have in common, what can they lea...
April 27, 2017 / Shan Wang
These national journalists are building a local site to bring a different kind of news to East Texas — Two transplants — a magazine writer and a data journalist, both from national news outlets — walk into a bar in east Texas. They start a small-scale, hyperlocal digital publication devoted entirely to the east Texas ...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: May 15, 2014.
Make this entry better
How could this entry improve? What's missing, unclear, or wrong?
Name (optional)
Email (optional)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel logo

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a daily newspaper based in Milwaukee, Wis., and the flagship of the publicly traded media company Journal Communications. The Journal Sentinel was created of the 1995 consolidation of the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel. Journal Communications, which also owns numerous weekly newspapers and radio and television stations, was employee-owned until going…

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.
Some rights reserved. Copyright information »