Journalism as joy

City MuseumAn exclamation of glee appeared on the #nicar12 Twitter stream last night. Thanks to Derek Willis (no, really, thank you!) dozens of journalists from the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting 2012 conference descended on the City Museum in St. Louis.

Today, I tried to figure out how to explain what made last night so friggin incredible. First, the museum is amazing. It's pure fun. I realized that the museum also echoes many of the things that can happen in amazing newsrooms.

Why nonprofit news? Community.

What is the deal with the nonprofit news model? I think about this a lot and have plenty of different answers, but in considering it recently, my first reaction was emotional: It's about being a part of a community.

Allison and ErikaGrowing up, the publication I remember most clearly around our house was ​People​ magazine. The most talked about paper was probably the Chilton school newspaper (I kid, I kid). We read the local paper (I delivered it for four years) and watched the news, but life was not organized around the news cycle.

Life was organized around the election cycle.