After much anticipation and a lot of fundraising (more than $3.5 million), Texas Tribune launches tomorrow, going toe-to-toe with the biggest newspapers in the state to cover cover state politics and policy. But unlike its for-profit competitors, Texas Tribune will give away its stories to anybody who wants to publish them.
Backed by Austin venture capitalist John Thornton, Texas Tribune already has generated a lot of media interest. The latest comes courtesy of The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, who highlighted the new online-only publication in his Media Notes column on Monday.
The big questions, Kurtz notes, are: Could this become a model for non-commercial journalism? Will Texas media outlets use the Tribune's stories?
Thornton's response: "There is a certain wait-and-see attitude that I don't blame them for," Thornton says. "What if we suck?"
Here's a YouTube video showing behind the scenes.