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niche journalism

Boston Globe Launches Catholic-Themed News Site

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 5.57.16 PMThe Globe is covering a new beat, and it’s not another Boston sports team. Nieman Lab’s Justin Ellis reported last week that the paper had launched a niche micro-site called “Crux,” focusing only on aspects of the Catholic faith, including lifestyle news and how the Pope and the Church handle political issues. Not only will the Globe Media-owned-and-run site feature Vatican news, it has also been designed to post quizzes and digestible chunks of content made for social sharing, Ellis found in his reporting.

It’s an interesting concept from a publication that has reported aggressively on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and an idea worth noting for newspapers that have long maintained a religion “beat” but never expanded the issues to a separate platform. The Globe‘s experiment begs the question of whether other big newsrooms should follow suit. With religion being just as much a part of many readers’ daily lives as sports, technology and food are, why shouldn’t the topic — or furthermore, a specific denomination — get its own vertical?

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Marijuana.com Rebranding and Hiring As The Pot Beat Grows

marijuanacomlogosThe time has finally arrived where you can be a professional journalist and immerse yourself in marijuana culture. Weedmaps.com, which has long been a go-to source for marijuana knowledge bought marijuana.com four years ago. The domain always hosted content, but now that marijuana activism has reached a tipping point and states start to legalize it for recreational and medicinal uses, there are a lot of serious issues to cover. They’re currently looking for a managing editor and accepting freelance pitches.

Kat Smith, Director for Customer Engagement over at Weedmaps, says the move was a long time coming:

We felt that there was a gap in the marketplace for the type of aggregation and information around marijuana. Cannibis Culture and High Times and other mainstream outlets are doing a good job, but we just wanted to make sure that since marijuana.com was so popular that we utilized that space to inform people. We’re very much of the mindset that with the rising tide of legalization, and all the different things that are happening, we make sure we are educating and engaging in dialogue with everyone. People in the marijuana community and legislators, or just people that want to know more about marijuana. That was really the thought behind it so three months ago we went about setting up for a rebrand, so thats what you see and our goal is to be a best in class publication and make it an informative place. Read more

Atlantic Media Re-launches CityLab.com, Emphasis on Mobile, Expanded Editorial

citylab feat picThe Atlantic recently announced the re-launch and expansion of its’ former AtlanticCities.com site as CityLab.com, a re-envisioned destination with an eye toward mobile users first, as well as a responsive design and expanded editorial intended to widen the audience for the site’s coverage of issues facing global cities. Read more

Culture and Political News — With a Hardcover

hrdcvrDanyel Wilson and Elliot Smith think, like most of us, that journalism as it’s practiced today needs fixing. So they’re focusing on the “soul” of our beloved craft and launching a magazine, in the form of a book. Yes, you read that correctly.

If you want to see it to believe it, you can donate now to their Kickstarter fund for the project, HRDCVR, which is open until June 5th.

Smith and Wilson are both journalists themselves, working at places like XXL and Vibe, respectively. So the magazine has a focus on culture and politics, with an emphasis on music, tech, and elections. Wilson “refined” the project while studying at Stanford University on a Knight Foundation fellowship. The magazine comes with an ethos of ditching the niche and the mainstream — something many publications are flocking towards — and being “multistream.”

Smith says in their release for the Kickstarter campaign that HRDCVR plans to:

make content from the revolutionary stance of everyone being equally interesting. We embrace the politics and cultures and passions of actual and projected populations in the United States. Our creative teams reflect and take inspiration from the humans and the humanity behind the new demographics

They’ve already raised about 4% of their goal, so if you want to see the highly designed (and heavy?) magazine, donate soon. You can follow the project at @HRDCVRx and fund it here.

For more on HRDCVR and to hear Wilson’s social media tips, read Hey, How’d You Become Hip-Hop’s Social Media Authority, Elliott Wilson?

Knight Center Announces Free Online Investigative Journalism Class

knight invest. journo post picIf you’ve ever wanted to learn the nuts and bolts of investigative reporting, here’s your chance, courtesy of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

A five-week, massive open online course (MOOC) on “Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age,” will begin on May 12 and end on June 14, 2014. Read more

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