Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Artisanal Cheese, Artisanal News? Why Not!

Among my many interests, I am a foodie. I've always enjoyed eating different types of cheeses, but a trip to Paris in 1995 began my love affair with artisanal cheeses. Local grocery stores are now offering cheeses from all over the world.

And my office in Washington, D.C., is mere blocks from
Cowgirl Creamery, considered one of the finest artisanal cheese stores in the country. Which is why this article from the Nieman Journalism Lab caught my eye: "If it’s good enough for cheese: What would artisanal news look like?"

Writer Gina Chen writes about what the future might hold for news organizations that decided to take the artisanal approach. Components would include:
  • Story focus would be niche, not mass;
  • Journalists would use different skills and would handle a story from start to finish;
  • Publications would put responsibility in the hands of "a few overseer-type facilitators," along with writer/editors "who lead rather than manage;"
  • The focus would be online first, with regular story updates;
  • News web sites would offer readers "just about everything someone needs to navigate their community, aggregated and easily searchable;" and
  • The print publication turns into a magazine offering "local community, full of in-depth, change-the-world pieces."
Chen doesn't know if the concept would work, but says that maybe it's something more publications might consider. The University of Missouri's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute web site has an interesting article on Web-based niche news sites and links to one that are making a go of it. Ones I read regularly are, Baltimore's own and the award-winning investigative journalism site This is just more food for thought as the transformation of journalism continues.

No comments:

Post a Comment