Birth of a NewsBlogPaper

While I have been musing about what it would take to kick off an online news outlet in Birmingham featuring original reporting, someone else has gone and done it.

Kyle Whitmire, who has been covering the city through Birmingham Weekly and other outlets for the past few years, has just launched Second Front, a part of a larger entity called Weld Birmingham (weldbham).

I had no idea Kyle had this cooking when I wrote my piece, “Is Birmingham Ready for an Online Newspaper.” I did know he had something in mind, while tweeting as @secondfront. The site appears to be running WordPress Multiuser, indicating there will be more specialized focus areas as it grows.

I spoke with him at length, and while I can’t share everything just yet, there are a couple of aspects of this venture that are intriguing to me.

Bottoms Up

Second Front it starting with the philosophy of building up from the bottom. Instead of trying to be a full-featured publication, it will take the interests, niches and experiences of its contributors and guide content that way. Don’t expect to get everything about everything. In fact, Second Front itself will be just about politics.

Curation and Analysis

Kyle is an old-style boots-on-the-ground reporter, but he knows he can’t be everywhere at once. When he can’t be omnipresent, he’ll be aggregating various articles for background and weaving them into a textured analysis. In this piece on Bingo in Alabama, for example, he cites 11 individual links from four sources.

It will be interesting to see how this evolves. There are many other pieces to roll forward out of this puzzle. Let’s just say Kyle has started the engine on one of the many models for online journalism, and it ought to be fun to see if this ship can fly.

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  1. […] Occam’s Razr: “Birth of a NewsBlogPaper” […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ike Pigott, Kyle Whitmire. Kyle Whitmire said: RT @ikepigott: Is (@secondfront) the new model for online journalism? | (Also ) […]

  3. […] Wade Kwon was able to catch up with Whitmire by phone to find out more about the new blog and the overall site and shared the answers over on Media of Birmingham while Ike Pigott wrote earlier today about whether or not it is the online newspaper that Birmingham&#8217…. […]

  4. Ike Pigott says:

    Is (@secondfront) the new model for online journalism? | (Also )

  5. RT @ikepigott: Is (@secondfront) the new model for online journalism? | (Also )

  6. @ikepigott has a post about @SecondFront also.

  7. […] The recent conversations about the existence of an online news outlet have led several people to wonder (via email, chat and phone calls) what this website’s place is in the ecosystem. […]