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Non-mainstream news sites erode people’s interest in politics, study finds
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Nov. 20, 2019, 12:14 p.m.
Business Models

This week, in upcoming news ventures that Nieman Lab is extremely curious about: Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Emily Ramshaw and chief audience officer Amanda Zamora are leaving the Tribune. Word came first from Tribune CEO and cofounder Evan Smith, who wrote that the two are leaving to launch a “new national nonprofit news organization aimed at giving women the facts, tools and information they need to be equal participants in democracy and civic life.”

“We’ll all root for them hardest and loudest. I’ll root hardest and loudest of all,” Smith wrote. “And I’ll be one of their first financial supporters.”

Public details on the new venture are roughly nonexistent at this point. Is this a daily news site or a “tool” for people who’ve mostly unplugged from daily news? Does “equal participants in democracy” imply an activism component? What does it mean to launch a news site specifically for women in 2020? How big will the staff be, and how much funding has been raised? What topics will be covered? Will the site take a stance on issues like abortion? Is the target reader a news junkie or a news avoider? What does real estate go for in Austin these days? And so on.

Zamora and Ramshaw remain employed at the Texas Tribune until Dec. 20 and Jan. 3, respectively, and won’t be sharing details until the new year. “The only thing I care about as much as informing and engaging with Texans on politics and policy is informing and engaging with women on politics and policy. That’s what I’m devoting my next chapter to,” Ramshaw said in a statement.

So more TK. In the meantime, see the announcement threads from Ramshaw and Zamora below, followed by a sampling of the Twitter speculation and gushing.

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