Southwest Minneapolis is getting a new hyper-local site.
Driving the news: Southwest Voices, an online news source meant to help fill the void created when the Southwest Journal newspaper folded at the end of 2020, plans to begin publishing stories later this month, Axios has learned.
The big picture: Nationally, local outlets are struggling to stay afloat. But the Twin Cities is proving an exception to the trend, supporting a robust — and growing — media ecosystem.
What to expect: Southwest Voices will focus on news, information and events for more than a dozen neighborhoods in its coverage zone. Users can sort and follow news by community.
- Think local association and planning meeting agendas and recaps, business spotlights and profiles of residents.
- It's free, but they plan to launch a membership option for those who wish to support the site. The business model will also rely on ads from local businesses and, eventually, events.
Behind the launch: The site is founded by Charlie Rybak, a political and digital media strategist, and Andrew Haeg, an American Public Media alum who founded GroundSource, a texting platform focused on newsrooms and nonprofits.
- Of note: Rybak is the son of former Mayor R.T. Rybak.
What they're saying: The founders told Torey they want to create a community-led source for reliable news and information that promotes civic engagement — without the conflict and negativity that plagues some social media groups and platforms.
- "A lot of people have a lot to say about Minneapolis. But it's really important for the people of Minneapolis to be able to tell their own story," Rybak said.
What's next: Southwest Voices is hiring an editor and a civic producer/ news organizer for the site.
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