Contributing to a healthy society by fostering, supporting and incubating a sustainable and vibrant free press.

JournSpark Spotlight: Portsmouth Press

JournSpark Spotlight: Portsmouth Press

About the Organization

PortsmouthPress.com is a community news website covering local government, politics, events, schools, and more for the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a coastal community with more than 17,000 year-round residents. Since its start in the fall of 2016, Portsmouth Press has grown to reach more than 8,000 monthly active users. The website is run entirely by its publisher, Sandy McGee.

Portsmouth Press offers free content on its website (publishing at least 2-3 new articles daily), a free weekly newsletter, a paid daily newsletter, and posts links on both Facebook and Twitter. The news site also offers the following free services: an event calendar, job postings, a business directory, lost and found, live traffic map, and weather radar as a service to the community.

The Situation

PortsmouthPress.com is still very much a startup with a small but growing stream of revenue.  As a young news outlet they face challenges in building their audience and attracting advertisers. What cash they generate is needed to grow their community reporting and hire business development and marketing staff.

How the JournSpark program helps

The free hosting from the JournSpark program allows McGee to allocate revenue toward other costs, providing a better service to her community.  Since the service provides managed service, She can focus on building her business and providing quality news to the community., not worrying about her web hosting.

When asked what benefits JournSpark offered over other similar paid services McGee added, “I don’t think the service would be as good with a paid provider.”  The main difference, besides being a free service she added, “The technical help is superb when you have a problem.”

About JournSpark

JournSpark is a program from the Fourth Estate that provides local news startups and qualifying journalism organizations with no-cost enterprise grade hosting services, technical support, and other business assistance.