No More GONSO- Controversial Firm Folds, Cites Economy


GONSO apparently folds, issuing this announcement on their website.  They had been getting op-eds syndicated in local newspapers for free, but had been planning to start charging.  No newspaper went along with it, and so GONSO has signed off.  GONSO’s investors, including Rick White, wanted to make money and they couldn’t do it.  APN was the first news agency to question the conflict of interest between GONSO and Alisias, White’s PR Firm.  Recently, in conversations with me, former AJC editor Jim Walls and blogger Grayson Daughters echoed those concerns, predicting that GONSO was doomed.  Former Creative Loafing editor John Sugg and former AJC reporter Lyle Harris both worked for GONSO and Alisias, while White had a fiduciary interest in both.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So long, but not good bye:

So, come we now to the end of the first phase of the Georgia Online News Service. Our goal was to define the viability of a sustainable, independent, professional journalistic effort aimed solely and exclusively at covering our villages, towns and cities, and thus, our state.

Our principals and writers have risked significant time and money in the creation of this journalistic laboratory. In our minds, the first phase has been an unqualified success. News organizations have found us worthy. Our stories have run all over the state. Still, the rapidity of the economic collapse that is shuttering newspapers across the country nearly every week has taken all of us by surprise. Our most likely and logical customers cannot afford even the modest sum an outsource service like ours requires to keep going.

For all that turmoil, we have learned a great deal and emerge from this living laboratory confident that the demand for professional, insightful local and state news remains intact. We are more determined than ever to discover a successful new business model, and are convinced that the experiment we began in January has yielded findings that put us well ahead in this race.

Every local and state market in the United States is asking these questions. We are happy to contribute to the quest by verifying that community demand coupled with dedicated, professional writers, photographers and editors, means there is a place for journalism still.

For now, it’s “so long, but not good bye.”

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