May 23, 2011I have to hand it to George Johnston, a Japanese American journalist and entrepreneur who is a veteran of news media. After he got laid off from the Hollywood Reporter, where he'd been web editor, he launched Nikkei Nation, a site that features news about Japan and Japanese Americans, in categories from Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Events and Science & Technology to Japan & Asia, Community, Obits and Obon Schedules. He has a partner Susan Yokoyama handling the business and marketing side as Associate Publisher, but this is a one-man band, editorially speaking. Johnston serves up the news several ways: Original reporting (he's a fine straight-ahead reporter as well as a seasoned columnist), repurposing of press releases and aggregated links to many other sites with headlines and brief descriptions, such as these for yesterday:
Obama, Kan to meet on Thursday (Sun., May 22, 2011) U.S. President Barack Obama will hold talks with Prime Minister Naoto Kan on May 26, the first of a two-day Group of Eight summit meeting in the French resort town of Deauville, the White House says. (Japan Times) Hawaiiâ€™s Rep. Mazie Hirono announces U.S. Senate bid (Sun., May 22, 2011) HONOLULU â€” The democratic field to replace retiring Sen. Dan Akaka doubles as Rep. Mazie Hirono announces her candidacy for the U.S. Senate. (KHON2.com) Budokan lease approved, fundraising is next for Little Tokyo sports complex (Sun., May 22, 2011) The Budokan of Los Angeles gets final approval to move forward after the Los Angeles City Council voted to grant a long-term ground lease to build the $22 million sports and activity center in Little Tokyo. (Downtown News) Obamaâ€™s appeals court pick Gordon Liu blocked (Sun., May 22, 2011) WASHINGTON â€” President Obama lost his first vote on a judicial nominee, as Senate Republicans derailed the nomination of a liberal professor who leveled acerbic attacks against two conservative Supreme Court nominees â€” both now justices. (Boston.com)I included George during my panel last month, "From Newsprint to New Media: The Evolving Role of Nikkei Newspapers," because he's diving headfirst into an online-only business model. This month he took the bold step of announcing the free email subscriptions many of us have been receiving for months with daily roundups of all his news headlines will end, and if we want his news, we'll have to pay for it.