By Scott McKeen
How does YegNews, an online newspaper start-up, compete against the corporate media?
YegNews does not see itself as a competitor to The Edmonton Journal, The Sun, CTV or CBC. It would be beyond arrogant to think YegNews, especially in this early beta phase, could stand alongside established, talented and experienced newsrooms.
For one thing, YegNews is solely focused on Edmonton and the region. We won’t pretend to cover provincial, national or international news. At least not yet. Our long-term goal is to broaden our coverage, but always with an Edmontonian’s view on outside issues.
Eventually, we want to be a one-stop shop for Edmonton news, information, sports and entertainment. But we ain’t there, yet.
We are as much about the future as we are the present — as much about establishing a community of writers and artists as producing news, entertainment and information in coming days.
YegNews is in some ways a service organization right now. Our service is information and journalism for Edmonton, by Edmontonians.
For the foreseeable future, our correspondents will be volunteers. Our commitment to them is this: It’s going to be educational, challenging and fun.
Our promise is to host regular gatherings of contributors where guest speakers will inform us about everything from investigative journalism to humour writing. We will invite in politicians, business leaders and criminal-justice experts to give us an inside look on how their institutions effect Edmonton.
YegNews is a work in progress. We vow to be creative and find compelling stories and provide information in novel ways. We encourage creativity and risk-taking at YegNews.
Our correspondents — photographers, writers and artists — will be mentored by the experienced YegNews colleagues. Our promise is that when YegNews turns a profit, we shall share it with them.
We will attract even more talented people, who are keen to join our collaborative community. Edmonton has no shortage of them.
And YegNews will seek advertiser support. We haven’t even asked yet. We realize we have to prove ourselves — further prove internet journalism — before business will support this venture.
Any revenues we make will stay in Edmonton. Mostly, it will be invested in local, public-service journalism.
That’s something corporate media isn’t doing these days, as they drastically downsize newsrooms across the country.
In terms of making a commitment to journalism, and to Edmonton, perhaps YegNews does compete.