points us to the fascinating story of a newspaper in the Czech Republic that is experimenting with making newsrooms into cafes
. One of my big complaints about newspapers these days is how little they've done to help enable their community to participate in the news process (whether it's finding, writing, discussing, distributing or sharing the news). However, it looks like Nase Adresa
is going a step further than just enabling the community online. It's enabling it in real space as well -- creating a news cafe. It combines both a newsroom and a typical cafe, so people can come and interact with editors and reporters, see the paper being created -- or even chip in and help out as well. And they're also doing more to serve the community than just offering up coffee and bites to eat, but are also holding concerts at the cafes as well (rescuing news and the music industry in one shot?). Apparently circulation is growing -- with 50% of subscriptions coming from people who happened to stop into the cafe.
The other interesting bit is that it appears that each of the cafes is working on producing specialized local content for just that local community -- all supported by a more centralized newsroom/journalist training center in Prague. So, there's a main newsroom, and then each local cafe gets to produce its own version, mixing news from the central source as well as locally produced content. The local papers/cafes need about 5 full-time employees, with plenty of other local volunteers or part-timers. It's still early in this experiment, so I do have some questions about how it functions long-term, but it is still nice to see a newspaper that actually focuses on serving a community directly. Next up? The Techdirt cafe?