DavidsonNews.net has reached a milestone: After four years on the web, we are launching our first sister site: CorneliusNews.net to cover our neighboring town to the south.
As with our flagship in Davidson, our goals in Cornelius will be to deliver news, feature stories, events listings and other information on the web, and to help build community.
CorneliusNews.net has been in a “soft launch” for the past several weeks, covering Town Hall, the arts, sports, schools, real estate, houses of worship, community events and breaking news. It’s now officially live at http://www.corneliusnews.net/. (We’ll have a launch party this Friday. See the details below.)
To cover Cornelius, we’ve hired another full-time reporter/editor. Christina Ritchie Rogers is 2003 graduate of Davidson College, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in English. In 2010, she completed a master of science in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., where she specialized in multimedia journalism.
Christina comes to CorneliusNews.net from Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group, where she has worked as education editor for The Herald Weekly and Mountain Island Weekly. She enjoys telling stories in a variety of media, from text to photography to video. And she’ll be writing and producing for both the Davidson and Cornelius sites.
TIME TO EXPAND
Why expand now? It makes news and business sense. We’ve already been covering Cornelius in small ways for the past several years, and we’ve attracted plenty of readers. Readership on our site and its sections (Guide, Sports, Real Estate & Home, Young at Heart, Food & Dining) is expanding, mirroring national trends that show more people turning to the Web for news. (See March 14, 2011, “Report: Internet usage transforming news industry.”)
Meanwhile, the economy appears to be reviving, which makes this a good time to grow. And our advertisers at DavidsonNews.net are eager for us to expand our reach.
That brings up an important point: How do we pay for this? DavidsonNews.net generates revenue from two main sources: advertising sales and reader payments. Our advertising offerings include classifieds – which now will reach an even wider readership – and the banner ads you see on this page.
Both DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net are published by Davidson News LLC, and managed for our towns by residents of Davidson and Cornelius.
DavidsonNews.net was founded in 2006 and has attracted a wide readership and become a national model for local news on the web. From a few hundred readers in our first year, we’ve now grown to more than 20,000 unique visitors per month (as measured by Google Analytics). More than one-third of those readers visit from several times a week and up to several times a day.
In 2010, DavidsonNews.net was named a “Promising Local News Site” by researcher Michele McClellan at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute. In 2009, the site was named a “Notable Entry” in the Knight Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. The company was featured in a project called “News Innovators on the Frontline” at City University of New York in 2009. And in May 2009, Davidson College presented its annual community service honor, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, to yours truly, for work on DavidsonNews.net.
In 2009-10, DavidsonNews.net was a founding member of a Charlotte regional online news partnership with The Charlotte Observer, funded by a grant from J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, at American University.
LAUNCH PARTY FRIDAY
We’ll celebrate the official launch of CorneliusNews.net with a ribbon-cutting and reception on Friday, March 18, 5-8 p.m.
Come join us at Just Baked Cupcakes, inside Carolina Art Garden in the Oak Street Mill, 19725 Oak St., behind the police station, Cornelius. Thanks to our friends at those businesses and to fellow members of the Lake Norman Chamber for helping us kick off our new site.
Friday’s party will feature a cupcake-and-wine tasting (cash bar), with wines by Treehouse Vineyard from Monroe. We’ll also be giving away a few goodies during the party, including a drawing for 4 tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s show “Totem,” now running under the big top near Charlotte Motor Speedway.
CorneliusNews.net is a sister site to the award-winning four-year-old DavidsonNews.net, a community news site serving the town of Davidson. Read more about us at CorneliusNews.net/about