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Articles by Christine Schmidt

Christine Schmidt is a staff writer at the Lab after having been its 2017 Google News Lab Fellow. Previous newsrooms include The Dallas Morning News, NBC4 in Los Angeles, the Hartford Courant, and a short stint at Snapchat. She hails from Chicago’s Southside Irish and can only give recommendations for thin crust pizza.
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“They said: ‘We don’t have a CRM. We have a plugin that manages who’s paid, and we have Mailchimp to email people.’ Honestly, that moment when they said ‘send us a CSV,’ we realized this was nuts.”
“When I was a beat reporter, I used to look at national news and say: How can I localize this? I feel like this is the other way around: What’s going on in our community that people can relate to across all platforms?”
“What I’ve seen with most nonprofits is they’re driven by former print people who have transitioned to digital. I can’t tell you how many times I see a digital story and think it would have been a good 10-minute, 15-minute, hour-long documentary piece.”
“A lot of this is taking advantage of what Google has to offer as a partner. They’re tracking all of these interesting trends all the time: what people are looking for and what they’re missing.”
“I have to be honest: We are still not making a profit.”
“We saw opportunity in Rhode Island where quite honestly great newspapers like the Providence Journal were seeing significant cuts and that market is particularly engaged in news.”
Now it’ll take the IRS judging whether a nonprofit newspaper needs to stick to hard news of civic importance — or whether it can cover Jazz games too.