Tom Murphy: A news Web site for baby boomers

The founding editor of financial-news behemoth MarketWatch has launched a second news venture, this time targeting the aging baby boomer demographic. Called RedwoodAge.com, Tom Murphy’s online news site is already up, running and reporting.

“People over 40 don’t really care at all about the Paris and Lindsay stories,” said Murphy, a longtime San Francisco resident who now resides in Marin County. “We care much more about other things, like the war situation, education and health care issues.”

Murphy, 54, supervised the San Francisco bureau of The Associated Press, was the first Bloomberg News Northern California correspondent and was the founding managing editor of MarketWatch.

His goal now, he said, is to create an online network that links timely national and international stories with issues that connect to the baby boomer bloc, such as ways of dealing with recurring bouts of breast cancer for women older than 40, or investment advice for boomers dealing with the recent stock market fluctuations.

Most of the news on the site is culled from wire services such as AP, but RedwoodAge allows for user comments to be displayed at the end of all articles, a move Murphy hopes will encourage discourse among the site’s users. And although the RedwoodAge site is still in its alpha phase, Murphy has assembled a group of experienced professional writers to comment and blog about relevant current events.

The reader interactivity Murphy is looking to stimulate with RedwoodAge comes from his belief that the Internet can be a powerful tool for user-requested news content, especially at a time when traditional media has become, in his view, increasingly targeted toward middle-of-the-road issues because of continued media consolidation. Despite the changes, Murphy still thinks traditional media has plenty of valued guidelines to follow.

“We want to practice progressive policies, without necessarily a political bent, but with news and stories that are truly thought-provoking,” Murphy said. “And we want to combine the Internet’s personal connectivity with the quality and ethics of traditional journalism.”

Murphy employs this combination of new and old media, while targeting what he believes are the core values of fellow baby boomers.

“We specialize in social activism, critical thinking, information sharing, and the idea of living a whole life,” said Murphy. “There are thousands of stories on the wire, and I really pore over the content to make sure the news has a personal appeal to our demographic. There is really no other news outlet which is truly focused specifically on what is affects Baby Boomers.”

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