The site, The Northern Hoot is sure to give news readers a new level of standard in local media.
Award winning local journalist, Steffanie Petroni is behind the new venture and despite being very busy preparing for launch, she had time to tell us what she has planned.
1. What is The Northern Hoot?
The Northern Hoot is an online news magazine. We’re slowing down the news and applying an in depth approach to issues in Northern Ontario. And we are also supplying lighter content that highlights culture and people in the North.
2. The Online world of news is becoming more and more crowded, do you see The Northern Hoot offering much of the same content as other news websites?
I believe that the Northern Hoot is a compliment to what is currently offered through the mainstream media. Not all, though some, of our content may focus on similar areas but we’re going to look at the issue through more of a research or investigative lens. We’re partnering with other news sites, like Sault Online, to develop a strong information network across Northern Ontario.
3. The media landscape seems to be in constant turmoil , especially in the last ten years. The mainstream media are finding it harder and harder and cutting back on their local newsrooms. Do you see this as an opportunity for the Northern Hoot?
I think we’re on the cusp of some very big changes for mainstream media. And I also believe that there is a demographic of readers that are interested in ‘slow’ or ‘long form’ journalism- particularly in Northern Ontario.
4. Most news websites operate with the revenue garnered through advertising. Your business model is different though, explain that.
One of the shifts that we are witnessing with online media is that people are now starting to voluntarily offer financial support to online news providers. Our revenue model relies on corporate and individual sponsorship. This gives us the freedom to report on myriad issues even when they might be considered to be areas of sensitivity or contention. It’s also a revenue model that gives control over what is being reported back to the public. And we’re paywall free. We believe information is for everyone, not just for those who can afford it.
5. What will be the primary focus of The Northern Hoot? will it be strictly local?
With our roots established in the Sault I anticipate that our early content will have more of a local focus but our goal is to expand coverage across Northern Ontario. Our landscape and culture is so unique in comparison to the rest of Ontario. I’ve always thought of the region as a geographically vast community and combined we are a much stronger voice.
6. What can people expect to read over the next coming months?
Tune in and find out!
7. What has been the biggest challenge for you in starting a new venture like that?
I’m a technology idiot! Fortunately our brilliant graphic designer, Anja Toivonen, has done a brilliant job with our branding for the Northern Hoot and she has set up a slick website that will be a delightful visual experience for readers.
8. Launch date is just around the corner, how excited are you?
I’m a jumble of nerves and adrenaline right now. But I’m also so excited to go live. We have so many passionate and intelligent people informing our content. I really believe that the Northern Hoot is going to make a positive difference in the North.
SaultOnline.com is excited to announce our district news partnership with The Northern Hoot to provide our readers a sample of what you can expect to see at The Northern Hoot.
Check out the Northern Hoot Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/northernhoot
Best of Luck Steffanie!