Geoff Dougherty


Geoff Dougherty is the editor of, a leading hyperlocal news startup. Prior to founding the Daily News, he was an investigative reporter and computer-assisted reporting specialist at the Chicago Tribune. Before that, he was a member of the Miami Herald's investigative team, and a staff writer at the St. Petersburg Times. Dougherty began his journalism career in 1992 at the Ute Pass Courier, a community weekly located in the shadow of Colorado's Pikes Peak.

No Casual Operation:Inside a Citizen Journalism Newsroom

One afternoon a few months ago, my police scanner at the Chi-Town Daily News started burbling with reports that construction workers had been injured in a building collapse in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

Most news organizations would have reacted to this in a time-honored tradition — hand the address to the cops reporter, call a photographer. If it’s a TV station, get the helicopter in the air.

To my ongoing dismay, the Daily News doesn’t have a helicopter. Or a cops reporter, or staff photographers. We’re a two-year-old, nonprofit, online newspaper with an annual budget of less than $200,000 and an office full of thrift-store desks.

But we do have a network of three dozen citizen journalists spread throughout the city, and some powerful software that enables us to keep track of where they live and what they’re interested in covering. Read more