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.