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  • Every morning, the business and political elite in the biggest province on Canada’s East Coast turns to an unlikely source of information about their own world.

    Among all the online news organizations trying to find a way to profitability, consider, which has just celebrated 10 years online and now challenges its historic print rival for the attention of the province’s leaders.

    It’s done that by not following the rules: It has a nearly impenetrable paywall, no social media presence, no multimedia, and only rare use of links. It doesn’t cover crime and barely covers sports and entertainment.

    However, it delivers up-to-the minute coverage of business, city hall, and the provincial legislature via the web and apps for iOS and BlackBerry. It scoops its news rivals almost daily and has won loyal readers through dogged combing of public records and often by prying into the personal lives of the province’s movers and shakers.

    The site is based in Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia, a province of just under a million people in Atlantic Canada. Ask 10 people on the street about AllNovaScotia and it’s likely eight will say they’ve never heard of it.

    “I think it might be nine people,” says Parker Donham, a former journalist for the now-defunct Halifax Daily News, communications consultant, and blogger. “But the one who did would be an assistant deputy minister or a regional manager. Between people paying for it and a limited amount of advertising, they’ve got a business model that seems to work.”

    “On the whole, I think they are the paper of record now,” adds Donham. “I don’t think there are many serious business or political people who don’t see that every morning.”

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