Washington Independent Launches

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Check it out here.

Their story?

    The Center for Independent Media (CIM) was founded by David Bennahum and Ali Savino in 2006 with the goal of supporting talented bloggers with journalistic training and logistical support. Dismayed by the dearth of support for bloggers, Bennahum, a former journalist with Wired and new media strategist with an investment banking background, and Savino, a software programmer active in Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential bid, set out to train grass-roots online journalism in four states.

    The result was a national network of online news sites with alliterative names. Colorado Confidential debuted in the summer of 2006 as did Minnesota Monitor. Iowa Independent launched in May 2007, and Michigan Messenger started in September 2007.

    Operated independently, the sites’ contributors do more reporting than most bloggers and are more opinionated on key local issues than most daily news reporters. They quickly gained thousands of readers per week and a reputation for credibility by breaking news on illicit campaign contributions in Colorado, violations of IRS regulations by a church in Minnesota, the Iowa Caucuses, the I-35W bridge collapse, and other major news events.

    The Washington Independent, scheduled to launch in January 2008, is the latest addition to what we now call the Independent News Network, or IN Network.

Beltway Blogroll chimes in:

    It’s a novel idea whose concept hearkens back to the colonial days of the American press, when journalism was a partisan pursuit. The question now is whether the right, always behind when it comes to political and media innovation on the Internet, will try to organize a similar operation or cede this new media battlefield to the left.

    UPDATE: I just read Morley’s introductory post more closely, and it includes this commentary: “Independence means freedom from corporate and partisan agendas.” The center’s mission strikes me as having a partisan edge to it, but in light of Morley’s viewpoint on what independence means, I have added a question mark to the headline.