A rebirth of Memphis metro area journalism was ignited Monday when The Daily Memphian officially launched its website to cover this city and only this city — reporting news by Memphians for Memphians.
The new, online-only Memphis journalism outlet is staffed with reporters, writers and photographers who have been covering the city for years, and this spells only good things for the Bluff City.
Many Memphis citizens have complained recently about the lack of coverage of city happenings or that the coverage was originated not in Memphis, but in Nashville. This is beginning to change.
While other news outlets will still exist, The Memphian is changing how journalism is done, which will hopefully push all other news outlets to produce the same caliber of work The Memphian will.
The outlet will cost $7 per month to subscribe and will be free to teachers. One thing they need to figure out is how to get this news to people who need it but do not have the means to pay for access, which is a large portion of a city that, until recently, was the poorest metro area in the country. Once they decide upon this, The Memphian will be greatly improved.
With numerous partnerships including the University of Memphis Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, WKNO, Chalkbeat Tennessee and High Ground News, the outlet will incorporate more voices than just that of their staff. The website will include coverage of all major sports in Memphis, governments of Memphis, Shelby County and the suburbs, arts and entertainment, business, food, articles from the best opinion writers the city has to offer and much more.
Not only will The Memphian host columns by legendary Memphis sports columnist Geoff Calkins, commentary by seasoned news veteran Otis Sanford and critiques by Memphis food extraordinaire Jennifer Biggs, but it will also feature works from U of M graduates, many of whom I have had the pleasure of working with while attending school here, like Jonah Jordan, Patrick Lantrip and Omer Yusuf. With so many employees with Memphis connections, the sense of place is not lost on the editorial staff.
The Memphian also includes options to have both morning and evening editions sent to readers via email, which will take the place of finding and paying for a morning edition of a newspaper.
Speaking of taking the place of a newspaper, the website will not be a static, traditional website. It will be displayed in the style of a newspaper, changing with the news on a day-by-day basis. I think this will add an aesthetic that people who are used to reading a newspaper will enjoy but also will cater to people like myself, who prefer the convenience of reading news digitally.
Lastly, my hope for this news outlet is that it appeals to people who are not regular news consumers, whose morning routines do not include checking out current events. That is the problem with the industry I call my own: neglect. Hopefully this new source of news catches their interest because Memphis needs it.
Although it is not a welcoming to the city, as the journalists there have been here all along, from The Daily Helmsman to The Daily Memphian, we welcome you to publication. I cannot wait to see the impact of locally-focused journalism on the city of Memphis.