(For startup journalism to really work, it will take a healthy ecosystem – drawing on the eager and passionate mentors and business success stories in Canada’s capital. I’ve highlighted some of the people and companies that are part of Ottawa’s ecosystem.)
iPolitics: Experienced reporter, James Baxter modeled his upstart digital news organization on politico.com (a politics and government digital news source in the U.S.) As editor and publisher, Baxter’s message to readers is: “Canadians deserve a venue where this country’s unique political personalities and policy issues are reported on fairly, discussed by experts and debated in an open arena, all in a timely and efficient manner.” Three years in, he believes the iPolitics team is finding success doing just that. But Baxter wants to do more.
“We should have someone in Alberta, BC and Quebec,” said Baxter of his reporting staff. Right now iPolitics has seven reporters and a few, part-time contributing editors in various parts of the country and world.
The organization was built thanks to private funding by “a family with a long history in journalism” along with help from some public funding agencies. Baxter says he’s been very careful about who to partner with – as iPolitics wants to maintain its integrity and independence.
And while he wants his own organization to grow, Baxter is also interested in helping incubate other digital, journalism enterprises.
“Create a hot house with a collection of programmers and journalists that come up with their own ideas.”
This would make iPolitics a very important instigator in the startup journalism ecosystem.
Bring it on.