Can Laid-Off Philly Journos Build Their Own News Organization?

George Miller wants to find out.

George Miller isn’t quite sure what a new local news organization would look like, nor how one would get funding for a startup — but he does believe there’s room in Philly’s media ecosystem for another player, especially now that the Inquirer, Daily News, and are laying off nearly 50 journalists and support staffers.

That’s why Miller, publisher of Jump Philly music magazine and an associate professor at Temple University, is hosting “Let’s Start Our Own News Org” tonight, a brainstorming session for those who care about Philadelphia and the media who cover the city.

“Basically, the idea was, in two weeks there are people who are losing their jobs,” he said of the layoffs at Philadelphia Media Network. “It seems like a lot of people are leaving journalism and aren’t all that upset about it, but I was upset about it — I don’t want to lose all that talent from the city.”

Miller said there’s room for neighborhood-level reporting in the city, but fewer people around to do that reporting.

“If the media constricts, there are fewer and fewer people on the ground documenting what’s going on there,” he said. “Anytime there’s an audience, you have an opportunity to create something.”

And, Miller suggested, a new startup could get under way fairly quickly. “It’s not that expensive to create a media outlet,” he said. “If people are unemployed or underemployed, they can go out and start doing this now.”

More than 100 people are expected to show up for the discussion, according to the event’s Facebook page. The discussion starts 8 p.m. at Everybody Hits Philadelphia, 529 W. Girard Ave.

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