Why Lookout, Why Now

FROM LOOKOUT FOUNDER KEN DOCTOR

Santa Cruz determined who I became as a journalist, a long time ago, in the very first years of the UC Santa Cruz campus. “Question authority” was the mantra of that time, and it led me on a path I’m still on, questioning, challenging and looking for ways to make things better.

After a 21-year career with Knight Ridder, then the second-largest daily newspaper company in the country, I’ve spent 15 years as an analyst of the news industry, through my Newsonomics business. In that work, I’ve chronicled the soaring highs of digital news success, and, unfortunately more often, the dismal, deepening, downward spiral of local news.

Why Lookout, Why Now

FROM LOOKOUT FOUNDER KEN DOCTOR

Santa Cruz determined who I became as a journalist, a long time ago, in the very first years of the UC Santa Cruz campus. “Question authority” was the mantra of that time, and it led me on a path I’m still on, questioning, challenging and looking for ways to make things better.

 

After a 21-year career with Knight Ridder, then the second-largest daily newspaper company in the country, I’ve spent 15 years as business of news analyst, through my Newsonomics business. In that work, I’ve chronicled the soaring highs of digital news success, and, unfortunately more often, the dismal, deepening, downward spiral of local news.

I returned to Santa Cruz 10 years ago, often describing it to jealous friends as “paradise, with a number of big problems.” Almost all of us love living here, just as we acknowledge the issues that we share with other Americans and consume our politics: affordability, gnarly commutes, economic development and business climate, homelessness, income inequity and issues of social justice overall. Lookout connects all those dots with a simple intention: To provide a valued source of trustworthy local news for the county that’s home. And then, to take that Santa Cruz-nurtured model out more widely to other communities that have become news deserts as well.

 

That said, permit me a small manifesto of sorts. It’s an intention, one for Santa Cruz and for the wider country’s needs. I’m humbled by the opportunity to launch Lookout Santa Cruz, and deeply appreciate the support of so many who have helped make it possible.

 

We’re Lookout Local, a new news company that believes citizens and communities require a fresh supply of high-quality, trustworthy, non-partisan news, analysis and information.

 

We believe that the next generation of 2020s local news media, in the U.S., and beyond, must earn its way forward, on diversified reader and advertiser revenue, while welcoming philanthropy to build and expand more quickly.

 

We both hold institutions of power accountable, knowable and trackable to our communities and delight in the storytelling we can do, unique to our cities and their characters.

 

We believe that modern new local news companies must be built ready to become the primary news media of their communities, as old institutions too quickly wither.

 

We provide tools to allow our readers to act on the news, engaging with them and connecting them better to each other.

 

We believe that savvy digital business practice, aided by the best available technologies, must match the excellence of local journalism.

 

We support our own citizens’ efforts at community betterment, through civic groups and social media.

 

We believe the press’ best days lie ahead of us.

 

We build on the best ideas and best practices of news companies, huge and small, recognizing their advances as we make our own.

 

We believe news companies must serve their diverse communities, both traditional news readers and those who want new voices that speak to, and with, them.

 

We know that great partners and collaboration make local journalism even better, and we’re glad to announce some of the finest, for our launch.

 

We believe that just as news deserts can be re-populated with news companies, ad deserts offer new opportunities to bring commercial voices into the conversation.

 

We harness the digital revolution’s powerful tools to create a new model of lean, agile, community-serving news businesses.

 

We believe in the power of reader and journalist connection, and we believe reader revenue – earned every day through membership – powers that connection.

 

We advocate that the future of the news business is the hands of those who create it.

 

We believe that a for-profit, public benefit company, ready and able to expand provides the best foundation for local news renewal.

 

We start in Santa Cruz, California, our first community, and aim to take Lookout Local to other markets as we master our model.

I returned to Santa Cruz 10 years ago, often describing it to jealous friends as “paradise, with a number of big problems.” Almost all of us love living here, just as we acknowledge the issues that we share with other Americans and consume our politics: affordability, gnarly commutes, economic development and business climate, homelessness, income inequity and issues of social justice overall. Lookout connects all those dots with a simple intention: To provide a valued source of trustworthy local news for the county that’s home. And then, to take that Santa Cruz-nurtured model out more widely to other communities that have become news deserts as well.

 

That said, permit me, a small manifesto of sorts. It’s an intention, one for Santa Cruz and for the wider country’s needs. I’m humbled by the opportunity to launch Lookout Santa Cruz, and deeply appreciate the support of so many who have helped make it possible.

 

We’re Lookout Local, a new news company that believes citizens and communities require a fresh supply of high-quality, trustworthy, non-partisan news, analysis and information.

 

We believe that the next generation of 2020s local news media, in the U.S., and beyond, must earn its way forward, on diversified reader and advertiser revenue, while welcoming philanthropy to build and expand more quickly.

 

We both hold institutions of power accountable, knowable and trackable to our communities and delight in the storytelling we can do, unique to our cities and their characters.

 

We believe that modern new local news companies must be built ready to become the primary news media of their communities, as old institutions too quickly wither.

 

We provide tools to allow our readers to act on the news, engaging with them and connecting them better to each other.

 

We believe that savvy digital business practice, aided by the best available technologies, must match the excellence of local journalism.

 

We support our own citizens’ efforts at community betterment, through civic groups and social media.

 

We believe the press’ best days lie ahead of us.

 

We build on the best ideas and best practices of news companies, huge and small, recognizing their advances as we make our own.

 

We believe news companies must serve their diverse communities, both traditional news readers and those who wanting new voices that speak to, and with them.

 

We know that great partners and collaboration make local journalism even better, and we’re glad to announce some of the finest, for our launch.

 

We believe that just as news deserts can be re-populated with news companies, ad deserts offer new opportunities to bring commercial voices into the conversation.

 

We harness the digital revolution’s powerful tools to create a new model of lean, agile, community-serving news businesses.

 

We believe in the power of reader and journalist connection, and we believe reader revenue – earned every day through membership – powers that connection.

 

We advocate that the future of the news business is the hands of those who create it.

 

We believe that a for-profit, public benefit company, ready and able to expand provides the best foundation for local news renewal.

 

We start in Santa Cruz, California, our first community, and aim to take Lookout Local to other markets as we master our model.

Lookout Local Santa Cruz, California [email protected]


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