My great predecessor in this column, David Carr, wrote at a time when the conventional wisdom was that the internet was destroying journalism.

But David’s eye was drawn to the interesting and the new, like Gawker and The Huffington Post or Twitter and WikiLeaks. Those of us who worked in the thrilling new world of online journalism were pleased to receive the gruff visitor, his head at a tilt, as he took in the exploding media world.

This is a very different time in the news business, with giant companies including The New York Times leading a wave of consolidation and many of the start-ups that Mr. Carr loved long gone. Around the world, digital news outlets that shattered the status quo, from Manila to Moscow, are hanging on for dear life. And yet in the United States, there’s also a generation of ventures growing up in the cracks in the sidewalk, fueled by a new sense of mission in American journalism and by the sheer…

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