September 3, 2009

Reporting Michigan ready for prime time.

A journalist who started covering Michigan politics in 2000 but lost his printing press when the Ann Arbor News closed in July launched Reporting Michigan with a web site, Twitter account. and a group on Facebook.

The traditional print journalist has thought about handling comments, too.

Tom Gantert's plans for a non-profit, statewide online political newspaper were part of an article in the Ann Arbor News on its last day. Geoff Larcom told us then that Gantert wanted to stay in journalism, but didn't think a traditional, for-profit model could work anymore.

In a post labeled opinion, Gantert explained "Reporting Michigan is not a blog. It is a non-profit registered with the state of Michigan that will report about political topics on a daily 24/7 news cycle."

It's a solo effort, although there is a board of directors.
"I just decided to "go for it." I am in front of all the right people. It's just, "How bad do they want an outlet that won't rip on conservative values?" We'll find out."
Gantert says he start selling advertising within a couple weeks.
"But even if I "make it big" all the other organizations have one full timer and hire freelancers to contribute on a daily basis. Tis' the new journalism model."
And that came from a Facebook reply, just part of that model.

Gantert tells me he considers the competition the Michigan Messenger, which he describes as the far left non-profit news site.

A Reporting Michigan post explains:
"We started Reporting Michigan because there was a gap in the coverage done by the mainstream news media. Conservative issues are often overlooked or not given fair treatment.
Back in July, Gantert told the Ann Arbor News he was "anxious, nervous and sad" as the newspaper ceased publication and he was working on this new enterprise on his own where "For the first time, I'll be working for the smartest man I know."

The about page fleshes out Gantert's 20 years in journalism, including time at at USA Today, the Jackson Citizen Patriot, Lansing State Journal and Ann Arbor News. He also worked in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Those who know Gantert know he has opinions, opinions he' willing to share. His opinion on citizen journalists led to uncovering moderation problems over on

It's clear that he's been watching and other web sites to see what they do with moderation. He's used some of that experience in formatting his own system.
"We will not allow comments on stories to be posted. Simply put, there hasn’t been a news site yet that has found a way to handle commentary in an acceptable manner.
Either vulgar and insulting comments are allowed to be posted, or the censorship of some posts is uneven at best, biased at worst.
But your voice can be heard and in your own words. There will be an “email to the editor” section."
His rules for an "email to the editor" section include:

  • Use a working email and a name. I prefer a real name, but as long as the email works, if you feel more comfortable with a nomme de plume, so be it.
  • Don’t be profane or insulting or libelous.
  • Reporting Michigan reserves the right to edit entries but that is not our intention. We believe in free speech, healthy debate and the “email to the editor” is your opportunity to get your two cents in with your words, pretty much untouched. But be reasonable in length.
  • Also, we reserve the right to make editor’s comments notes about factual misrepresentations about Reporting Michigan. That means if you write that Reporting Michigan wasn’t at an event and we were, we will make an editor’s note at the end of your commentary to correct it."
Go visit Reporting Michigan to see what another unemployed print journalist has decided to do.

Turns out I haven't published any of the things I wrote about Tom. I've written about the and Ann Arbor News, though.

A video, now on YouTube, was an outlet for Tom's moaning what was the Ann Arbor News. It was put together by Jordan Miller, who explained how it came about on


Post a Comment