Magazine article Editor & Publisher

An APB for New Investors

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

An APB for New Investors

Article excerpt

Nasdaq losses slammed award-winning Web site: Still, 'It's not dead yet'

Editor Hoag Levins was one of several APBNews.com representatives attending the Investigative Reporters and Editors awards at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel June 3. The crime-and-justice Web site, which had been turning the online journalistic world on its ear for 18 months, was receiving yet another award for its "pioneering work" in the field of online news and public information.

Two days later, however, Levins found himself among the 140 APBNews.com staff members who lost their jobs when company officials announced the Internet news site had run out of money and would be unable to keep paying salaries. Although staffers were invited to continue working as volunteers until future financing could be arranged, no paychecks would go out, and prospects for the future of the site had dimmed.

"It perfectly crystallized the reality of the Internet," Levins says of the two opposite events. "It was a shocking experience to have that bitter and sweet together in one weekend."

Levins' reaction was mirrored by many in and out of the online newsroom following the June 5 announcement by APBNews.com Chairman and CEO Marshall Davidson that the company had hit a roadblock in its search for continued investment. While observers believed APBNews.com had broken new ground in the Internet news world with its efforts to obtain confidential public records and direct a closer eye on judicial coverage, many say the reality of investor uncertainty following a serious Nasdaq market crash among Net stocks in April continued to have an effect. …

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