The Daily Dot: Growing into a bigger dot on the news map

The Daily Dot: Growing into a bigger dot on the news map

Hey there, news media folks. Nicholas White has some news for you: You’re rehashing the same stories over and over, and you’re missing a heap of “new news.”

“The real opportunity in media, in my opinion, is in ‘new news.’ What is it that isn’t being covered?” said White, co-founder and CEO of The Daily Dot.

The Daily Dot, a privately held startup based in Austin, Texas, takes the “new news” approach in covering the culture of the Internet.

When it launched in August 2011, the website promised to cover the online community in the same way that a hometown newspaper would cover its community. Today, The Daily Dot attracts 22 million unique visitors a month, so it’s obvious that plenty of people have bought into that promise.

With a full-time news staff of around 30 and a part-time news staff of around 30, The Daily Dot delves into stories with headlines like:

  • “The big money behind Iran’s Internet censorship”

  • “Bartenders are secretly laughing at your Tinder dates”

  • “YouTube stars put food to the test with ‘Will It Pizza?’”

Each day, The Daily Dot publishes 60 to 80 stories—stories that White said you’re not likely to find in The New York Times or on TechCrunch.

“No one covers the Internet as culture,” White said, “and no one does it with the level of breadth and depth that we do.”

The website’s coverage categories include news, politics, entertainment and crime. While White is pleased with The Daily Dot’s progress, he’s aiming to beef up the site’s coverage. Among the areas being expanded are e-sports, the domain of video game competition; online dating, which has seen the rise of apps like Tinder and Grindr; and the business of the Internet.

“We cover a world that’s really, really big. There’s still a lot of stories going untold on the Internet,” White said.

Regarding the business of the Internet, journalists pay too much attention to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, according to White, a former reporter, editor and executive in the newspaper industry.

“There’s a lot of business happening on the Internet that is not about those four companies,” he said, “yet that’s what the business press is obsessed with and that’s what the tech press is obsessed with.”

White bemoans what he calls a lack of innovation in journalistic storytelling, saying that we’re getting “less and less news through more and more outlets.”

White figures that it’d be simpler for all media outlets to merely report, re-report, repackage, opine about and analyze a “single perfect story.”

“If we could just get Kim Kardashian and Obama to launch some kind of health care reality show,” he said, “maybe we would never have to do any original reporting ever again, because we’d just keep talking about that single story.”

Have you checked out The Daily Dot recently? What do you think of the venture?

John Egan is editor in chief at SpareFoot, an Austin, Texas-based startup that helps people find and book self-storage. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnJEgan.

Photo: The Daily Dot logo via Facebook

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