I collect items about niche media businessesÂ for ideas or inspiration. Here are a few.
- Columbia Journalism Review published two articles last fall aimed at daily newspaper reporters who wanted more depth than their jobs allowed. Elisabeth Sifton suggests thatÂ booksÂ rule and newspapersÂ drool inÂ an article titled, “The Second Draft of History.”Â And in the companion piece former Washington Post staffer Linda Perlsterin explains why she became “Unshackled.”
- Heidi Benson of the San Francisco Chronicle (where I also work) wrote about the Frontline/World newsmagazine; hardly a niche, I suppose, but an example of how videoÂ journalists areÂ trying to cover the stories that fall through the vast cracks of what airs on network news.
- LA Times reporter Alana Semuels writes about e-mail servicesÂ that keepÂ La-La landers abreast ofÂ whatever is hippest and hottest in “E-mail newsletters seek to mine riches from niches.” IÂ read the piece and sawÂ a lot more niche than rich but see for yourself.Â (Click to read article)
- Finally, Associated Press writer Josh Funk says the demise ofÂ cassette tapes has been predictedÂ for 20 years and now only niche uses keep this medium alive. In an articleÂ about the last audio cassette tape maker in North America, Funk writes that: “Sales of music tapes plummeted from 442 million in 1990 to about 700,000 last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America . . . Officials at the last cassette maker in North America, Lenco-PMC Inc., saythe plastic cases â€” invented in 1964 to hold two miniature reels for magnetic tape â€” remain popular in at least three uses: Audio books for the blind, court recordings and religious messages.”