New outlook on the Net p.14

By: David Noack Defunct Calif. paper returns with online Lookout

A little more than a year ago, Santa Monica's The Outlook, which catered to an eclectic mix of surfers, bronze bodies, elderly residents, and a civic-minded citizenry, published its farewell edition. Now it's back. Kind of.
The newspaper, or at least a virtual edition, has been resurrected on the World Wide Web, with 10 former staff members banding together to publish what is now called The Lookout ( The cyber-edition was launched on March 13, one year after The Copley Press announced that it was closing the 123-year-old Outlook. At the time, the paper's circulation was 23,000.
While the new venture is a collaborative effort of ex-Outlook staffers, they say they are not trying to recreate the Outlook but rather start something new.
Leading the new effort is Jorge Casuso, a former Outlook reporter and former Chicago Tribune West Coast bureau chief who decided to stay in the Golden State when Midwest bosses tried to bring him back to Chicago.
So far, the online paper is a labor of love rather than a money-maker. The Web site includes a few ads and the reporters and editors work gratis to put the paper out. Since contributors have full-time jobs elsewhere, they try to squeeze in city council meetings, political news, and typical newspaper fare.
But Casuso says this is only the beginning. He hopes to make the paper a daily habit of the Santa Monica community. Part of that effort means getting stories online quickly in order to attract a loyal following, which would then attract advertisers to the site.
"I'm trying to get at least one breaking news story on the front page every day. We are beating our competition. There was a sexual assault ? we broke that immediately. The good thing about the

?(Goodbye and hello: The defunct Santa Monica Outlook (top) and the Lookout, (bottom) the new online version.) [Caption & Photo]


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