A group of former Los Angeles Times writers and editors has launched The Journalism Shop, an online freelancers' network that offers hiring editors and others a range of services, from investigative reporting to book reviews to public relations. The J-Shop has partnered with Pro Photography Network, a mirror network set up to shop the services of former LA Times photographers.
The genesis of both networks was a Yahoo newsgroup called "ex-LATers," which was formed by the laid off and bought out to exchange job tips and gossip. As part of the discussions, the former staffers contemplated the creation of a new online publication for Southern California, using the freelance networks to attract and maintain a stable of talent while they searched for financial backing.
Scott Martelle, one of the leaders of the effort, wrote wrote on his blog that about two dozen former Times writers had joined the J-Shop so far and he expects more to sign up. Leo Wolinsky, former Times associate editor, is also part of the project.
This is a closed network for now. Only Times veterans are being recruited.