Lance Knobel: ‘Sour taste’ over Bay Citizen funding

A name and URL has been announced for the San Francisco based Bay Area News Project: the Bay Citizen to be launched at the end of May, with initial funding of $5 million from the Hellman Family Foundation.

But news entrepreneur and journalist Lance Knobel says its call for individual donor funding leaves a “sour taste” in his mouth.

If The Bay Citizen were really a grassroots effort it would make a lot of sense. But it’s not. I find it bordering on deceptive that The Bay Citizen is seeking individual donations without noting clearly that the Hellman Family Foundation gave $5 million in “seed” funding (that information can be found on the site’s FAQ). Warren Hellman, one of the richer people in the Bay Area, is chairman of the board.


I still want The Bay Citizen to be wonderful and to succeed. But there’s a very sour taste in my mouth. I still think our modest, bootstrap approach, building readers and community organically and then finding our way to sustainability once we have something to show is the right way to do things.

Bay Citizen’s membership director replies to his criticism in the comments.

Full post at this link…

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