Education reform and how it’s playing out in city schools. A long-awaited project to build sidewalks in a high-traffic area, delayed because of the cost. The latest on a controversial plan to sell off 25 years’ worth of parking-meter revenue for a quick infusion of $50 million.
These are a few of the stories posted in late August by the New Haven Independent, a non-profit, online-only news organization.
As part of my research, I recently decided to take a look at every story that appeared in the Independent between Sunday, Aug. 22, and Saturday, Aug. 28, and compare them to what appeared in the New Haven Register.
Click here for a detailed breakdown of New Haven
coverage in the Independent and the Register
Not that the Independent and the Register should necessarily be thought of as competitors. The Register, a for-profit paper owned by the Journal Register Co., based in Yardley, Penn., covers not just New Haven but the surrounding area as well. On any given day, the Register publishes more stories from the suburbs than from the city. Much of the Independent’s intensely local neighborhood coverage is of the sort that the Register would not likely publish.
The Register is also a much larger enterprise, even online: its website received more than 158,000 unique visitors in July, according to Compete.com, whereas the Independent, with its city-focused readership, attracted somewhat less than 49,000. (Such numbers are inherently suspect. But they provide a decent basis for comparison, if not for overall readership.) And, of course, the Register’s website isn’t its primary distribution platform. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, paid circulation of the Register’s print edition is about 71,000 on weekdays and 81,000 on Sundays.
My goal was to list every story that appeared in the Independent for a week, and to compare them to the New Haven-only stories that appeared in the Register. Compiling a list of stories from the Independent was not difficult. Finding all the New Haven stories in the Register was somewhat more of a challenge, since I did not have access to the print edition.