Laid-off Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalists today launched a non-profit online news site,

Laid-off Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalists today launched a nonprofit online news site,

Former P-I reporter Kery Murakami — “I guess I’m the publisher” — said he and a half-dozen other former P-I journalists form the core staff, but more than 20 other reporters, photographers and editors have said they intend to contribute.

Today’s home page features stories advancing the Mariners’ home opener, another setting up this fall’s contest for Seattle city attorney, and a column by a former P-I editorial writer.

The Post-Intelligencer’s last print edition was published March 17. The newspaper’s owner, The Hearst Corp., said the paper hadn’t been profitable since 2000 and showed no signs of turning around.

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The P-I continues as an online-only news outlet, but it employs just 20 of the 150 or so journalists who had worked for the paper. has little money — about $3,000, with another $3,000 pledged. “We’re working as volunteers now,” Murakami said.

The site expects to rely to a great extent on reader donations. Murakami said the goal is to get 8,000 people to pledge $10 a month to help pay full-time, part-time or freelance staff. also intends to sell advertising. Murakami said it has struck a deal with the Seattle Weekly under which the alternative paper will sell ads for the site and keep half the revenue.

KCTS-TV also is supporting the fledgling venture, providing office space and serving as a vehicle for tax-free contributions. Murakami said and the PBS station are discussing other ways to collaborate, perhaps with former P-I journalists providing content for KCTS broadcasts or the station’s Web site.

Part of the new site’s purpose is to give former P-I journalists both hope and an outlet, Murakami said. “We want them to know that it’s not over, that you can still write for us, even if you have to get a job at Wal-Mart,” he said.

But many former P-I people still are sorting out their lives, he added: “I hope people don’t expect this to be the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on our first day.”

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or