Michele's List
Building blocks in the emerging local news ecosystem

Site Twitter handle


Facebook link


Year launched


Tax status

  • Nonprofit 501c3

Monthly visitors

I do not track traffic as I publish intermittently when an investigation is completed and ready for prime time.


  • $50,000 or less

Primary revenue sources (50% or more)

  • Small donations (Less than $1,000)
  • Large donations ($1,000 or more)

Secondary revenue sources (20-49%)

  • Small donations (Less than $1,000)

Smaller revenue sources (less than 20%)

  • Small donations (Less than $1,000)

Publishing platform

  • Joomla


I don't track.


  • No

E-newsletter subscribers

Is a News Alert an e-newsletter? It goes to more that 1,400 people.

Is your site indexed on Google News?

  • Not sure





Last Publisher Update

  • 2016-03-07 21:26:08 UTC

The Austin Bulldog
Austin, Texas
Ken Martin

The Austin Bulldog is an investigative news site dedicated to in-depth reporting in Austin, Texas. The nonprofit was founded in 2010 by editor Ken Martin. Revenue: Donations.

Introduction by publisher

After 28 years in publishing as a reporter, editor, co-founder and owner of several for-profit publications our monthly magazine, The Good Life, folded in January 2009. I found out about nonprofit publishing and researched sites to see how they were funded and found the Knight Foundation's New Voices grant program. I won a $25,000 grant in the 2009 cycle and launched The Austin Bulldog in April 2010. My mission is investigative reporting in the public interest, focusing on the Austin, Texas area. I publish infrequently, as investigations are completed, and spent as much as as six months focusing on a single investigation and publishing nothing until it was completed. My investigations--one of which that could have resulted in jailing the entire city council--have caused major reforms in local government organizations. The challenge, which I have not pursued, is finding the financial support to grow the organization and be able to pursue more important investigations. Instead I have chosen to spend my time doing the work of investigative reporting and draw very little from the limited budget (about $15,000 in 2015). I definitely need a development director or business-side person to focus on fundraising.

Effective engagement practice

When I publish a new investigation I:
--send out an e-mail News Alert that goes to readers and local media
--post a blurb and link to the story on Facebook
--boost the Facebook post by paying to widen the reach
--use Twitter to notify followers, typically from two to six times for each new investigation
On occasion other media such as the Austin American-Statesman will follow up the story and credit the Bulldog for breaking it.

Business challenge

As a one-man operation I don't have time or focus to develop revenue. I need another person to do that and don't have anyone.

Coverage area

  • Metro or large city

Other geographic focus

I primarily cover the City of Austin and Travis Central Appraisal District, two major governmental entities in Austin, Texas.


  • Produce investigative news

Topics of coverage

  • Crime & justice
  • Environment
  • Government & politics


  • Yes, it is the primary focus

Institutional partners

  • None

Content contributors

  • Professional journalists

Contributor compensation

  • Full-time, paid staff

Publish donors

  • Publish all donor names
  • Publish all foundation names

In the news

Zimmerman threatens lawsuit over abuse stories, Oct. 15, 2014, http://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2014/10/zimmerman-threatens-lawsuit-abuse-stories/

Zimmerman's latest lawsuit, http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2014-12-12/zimmermans-latest-lawsuit/

Zimmerman suit not yet “bygone,” http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2014-12-26/zimmerman-suit-not-yet-bygone/

Zimmerman v. Bulldog case going to court today, file:///Users/kenmartin/kenmartin/Austin%20Bulldog/Assignments/2014%20Election/Candidates%20Council/6%20Zimmerman/Lawsuit%20Coverage/20141218%20Austin%20Monitor.webarchive

New CM Zimmerman loses to Bulldog, http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2015-01-09/new-cm-zimmerman-loses-to-bulldog/

Martinez and Adler trade attacks, http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2014-11-14/martinez-and-adler-trade-attacks/

How to build neighborhoods, http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2014-09-05/how-to-build-neighborhoods/

Attorney files complaint accusing Don Zimmerman of campaign violation, http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/attorney-files-complaint-accusing-don-zimmerman-of/nj5dD/ (PAYWALL)

Austin Council Member Don Zimmerman paid wife for campaign work, http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/austin-city-council-member-don-zimmerman-paid-wife/nj4Gc/ (PAYWALL)

Susana Almanza returns $10,000 in campaign funds to city, http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/susana-almanza-returns-10000-in-campaign-funds-to-/njzWt/ (PAYWALL)

Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit, orders Don Zimmerman to pay up, http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/judge-dismisses-defamation-lawsuit-orders-don-zimm/njh85/ (PAYWALL)

Election Follies: ... Zimmerman protests, http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2015-02-13/election-follies/