June 26th, 2009 | Uncategorized

Bass ’82 launches second Web-only publication

Valley Sentinel

As newspapers across the country continue to go bankrupt, Yale lecturer Paul Bass ’82 just launched a new media outlet for south-central Connecticut. But don’t look for this paper in print: Like the New Haven Independent, which Bass started in 2005, it is only available online.

The Online Journalism Project, which is led by Bass, launched its second online-only newspaper, the Valley Independent Sentinel, this week. The Sentinel, employing two full-time reporters and freelance contributors, will cover news from Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton. It is being financed by a $500,000 grant from the Knight Foundation.

Eugene Driscoll, the Sentinel’s editor, said the online-only format is more than just a passing fad.

“The web is actually a better way to do what we are trying to do, tell local news,” he said, citing the ability of the web to get news out quickly and get readers involved on comment boards.

Bass is the editor of The Online Journalism Project’s other paper, the New Haven Independent.

The two papers will share some content, Bass said in a Tuesday interview. Bass said he was not sure yet if the project will expand to include more newspapers, adding that money is a crucial factor in gauging whether expansion is possible.

Interest in the new paper seemed high: A launch party for the Sentinel on Tuesday at Ansonia City Hall was standing-room only.