Former CQ Press publisher John Jenkins this week launched a new venture, Law Street Media, billed as a “community Web site” offering a hybrid of legal news and resources for students, professionals, and anyone interested in law and public policy. The site will include a dedicated legal job board, crime rankings and statistics, “pro/con” issues reporting, “join-the-Jury topical debating,” and a variety of blogs to inform and entertain—and all of the site’s content will be free to users.

Supported by a team of 25 in Washington and New York, the new venture, Jenkins told PW, represents a “sea change” from his past publishing ventures, where content was behind a paywall. “One of the headlines for this venture, as far as I am concerned, is that publishers must embrace ‘free’ and find creative ways to build their business around that,” he noted. Jenkins said the site will focus on generating revenue from advertising and sponsorships, and that there will be other opportunities, he adds, including creating “a marketplace,” publishing e-singles, and subscription services for firms and others to access “value-added” services. But the key right now, he said, is to get “as many eyeballs" as possible.

"As usage grows there will be many opportunities for us to earn revenue from our good work,” Jenkins told PW, adding that the goal is establish a business model that is “not built on the backs of our users, or on shrinking library acquisition budgets.”

Jenkins, is a publishing industry veteran who most recently served as president and publisher of CQ Press, and is also the director of the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE awards for scholarly and academic publishing. With the legal and public policy arenas drawing major attention in the digital age, Jenkins' vision is to establish Law Street Media as “a single essential resource to law students and young professionals that embraces the rapidly-evolving legal industry,” and he said he is energized by the opportunity. “ I am, in short, having a blast.”