The motivations and visions for one nonprofit news startup


While the newspaper industry has recently feared its sustainability more and more and journalists at local outlets across the country are unsure of the permanency of their job, nonprofit journalism continues to grow. The latest nonprofit publication comes from a team of journalists from the Richmond Times-Dispatch out of Virginia.

The digital-only publication is set to launch in July and will focus on state government and policy news, healthcare, campaign finance and criminal justice. It will be named the Virginia Mercury.

The Mercury will be led by a seasoned four-person reporting and editorial team, who has come from the Virginian-Pilot along with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It will be funded by two Washington, D.C. nonprofits that hope to fund more media outlets and continue to support current ones. The goal is for the Virginia Mercury to become self-sustainable from private donors and reader contributions.

Robert Zullo, the Mercury's editor, looks forward to being a different type of paper that readers can turn to for government and policy issues. "The idea is really not to chase what everyone else is doing and [instead] try to see where we can fill a gap in news coverage of the state," he says. 

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