Mike Fourcher, who served as Journatic editorial director for a few months last year, is quitting his three-year-old Chicago neighborhood blog, Center Square Journal, and offering it to anyone who wants to run it as a non-profit.
“The economics just aren’t there for a set of stand-alone neighborhood news sites in Chicago,” he writes. “They need a sponsor and a different kind of community support since I’m moving on to a new project. More on that another time.” (Three Chicago neighborhood online news sites make up Fourcher’s Brown Line Media company.)
First of all, way to make me want to buy your thing, telling me there's no way it'll ever make money. Nonprofits need to make money, too. See also every not-for-profit ever.
Second, define "make it." Profitable? How profitable? Plenty of people look at profitable newspapers as failing if they're less profitable than they were years ago. Profitable enough to pay salaries for five people? Ten people? One person? What are the parameters? How realistic are they?
I'm not making fun, I'm saying we keep hearing these broad pronouncements and they seem to disqualify everything based on one person's experience. People are trying stuff. It's a little early to give up. Three years makes a media source an infant. How much time are you given before we all go home and the sky falls and hyperlocal is over?
Plus, Journatic? FAIL.