News cafe connects journalists and readers

Tim Currie’s article at the Nieman Journalism Lab about the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe almost makes me wish I were back in the ‘peg. (I moved there 3 times in the 1970s and 1980s. Love the place but, sorry, the winters are too much to bear.)

One of the many great things about Winnipeg is the Free Press, an independently owned newspaper that isn’t afraid to try new ideas.

As Currie describes, the paper’s News Cafe offers a place for the online news team to work, a downtown location for reporters to meet with sources, and a place where Winnipeggers can drop in and discuss issues.

It’s a return to the city core for the Free Press, which moved to the suburbs 20 years ago to gain space and reduce costs. Now, it has re-established a foothold in the heart of the city.

The News Cafe is much less imposing than the old building on Carlton Street (which also housed a radio station where I used to work). But I like the way it opens the Free Press to the public and enables a conversation about what’s important in the city.

I’ll bet it brings journalists and the general public closer together than the grand and imposing old newspaper building ever did.




Warning: this post contains graphic scenes

Circulation declines. Source: The Awl. Click for full graphic.

Today, a roundup of some graphs related to yesterday’s release of newspaper circulation numbers in the United States.

Warning, these graphs may disturb anyone who believes printed news isn’t fading fast. Discretion is advised.

  • How much has newspaper household penetration fallen since WW2? From almost 130 per cent to only 33 per cent. Allan Mutter charts it.
  • How is circulation changing at the country’s largest papers? Hint: You wouldn’t want to work for the SF Chronicle. The NewsCred blog paints a colorful but ugly picture.
  • How has circulation changed for six major newspapers since 1990? If you’re the Wall Street Journal (which can count its paid online subscribers in total circulation) things are great. Otherwise, this is a roller coaster that now only goes downhill. The Awl tracks the trends.
  • And finally, how have newspapers themselves reported circulation? With fewer hard numbers, more references to percentage changes and a focus on trying to tell their own positive story. Again, from The Awl.