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I like this what-if: The new news beats – Joe Murphy

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I like this what-if: The new news beats

All-about-the-words journalism-blog Gangrey sparked a thread with its recent post, New Rules:

If you got to blow up your newspaper, effectively immediately, meaning even the potential elimination of the traditional, nuts-and-bolts beats – cops, city hall, school board – and if you then got to rethink completely how we harvest stories …

What would the “beats” be?

Great question. It got a bunch of responses too, here are my favorites from the contributions:

  • Stories Where People Voluntarily Get Out Their Old Yearbooks
  • Collision (cars, people, ideas, whatever)
  • Pieces of furniture that cost under $500
  • Contentment. Or, what people do when they don’t have to do anything
  • Politicians who are (not) helping
  • Businesses that are not chains
  • Secrets
  • Things we accept but shouldn’t
  • The things we do, but do not talk about

And these are the ideas I contributed:

  • Red: News and local ephemera that has to do with that color.
  • Last Month, Last Year: What matters now about what happened around here 13 months ago?
  • Oooops: Who out there is making the ‘best’ mistakes, and how do they do it?
  • PGs and QBs: Point guards and quarterbacks in the news.
  • Five Years: News and ephemera about five-year-olds.
  • Running on Empty: “Running out of gas”-related news and stuff

What I like about the Gangrey post and the ideas it sparked is the idea of the world worth talking about that doesn’t fit within the usual definitions of what makes a news or feature article.

Posted in Ideas, Journalism, Online, Storytelling, Themes, What If?.

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