OLD Media Moves

Laid-off biz reporter creates company covering courts

December 15, 2008

Steve Myers of the Poynter Institute profiles Scott Barancik, a St. Petersburg Times business reporter who was laid off earlier this year and has created a company covering local courts.

Myers writes, “Rather than write a story, however, Barancik puts together a summary of key points and contacts, takes photographs of court documents and posts it all to his password-protected Web site, BayLawsuits.com. Perhaps once a week, maybe more, he sees a local television or newspaper story based on his research.

“‘All I did was take something I already knew how to do and tried to monetize it,’ he said. ‘I still don’t know if it’s going to work or if it’s going to be a real living.’

“‘I would encourage anyone who’s laid off to think entrepreneurially about their skills and not to underestimate their value in the marketplace, particularly at a time when there may not be jobs out there,’ he said.

“Twice a week, Barancik goes to the courthouses in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, where St. Petersburg and Tampa are located. Between the two counties, he reviews about 100 to 150 new cases a week and writes summaries of about 20 of them.”

Read more here.

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