The Wonders of Niche Journalism

Kaiser Health News has only been up and running for a few days, but it’s really impressive so far. Health-policy news isn’t exactly a huge market — and certainly it lacks the prestige of, say, war reporting — but it’s important nonetheless, particularly as reform efforts heat up in Congress, and I wouldn’t be surprised if KHN quickly proves a more-or-less comprehensive guide to its industry, policy, and political dimensions. As it stands now, it’s detail oriented but accessible — just wonky enough; there’s original reporting, polls, and helpful charts as well opinions from reputable experts on both sides of the debate. It’s still in its infancy, but it already looks in many ways to be a model for covering key policy areas on the web, and it’s exactly the sort of publicly minded, non-profit, niche journalism that I expect to flourish over the next few years as the news industry reshapes itself in reaction to the net.