Nightlife websites and journalism

By ALEXANDER PEARCE

Journalism is a taxing career to be sure. Strict deadlines, unreliable sources, unexpected breaking news… .

All of these things can leave a reporter overworked and far from relaxed. One of the perfect solutions to this problem would be to cover local nightlife and combine work with fun.

Obviously when a reporter does a story featuring a bar or club, s/he is still working rather than simply relaxing. But the coverage of a restaurant opening or something similar makes for an almost ideal journalistic environment. Owners and managers couldn’t be happier to talk to reporters in order to benefit from the good press and excited patrons are often bursting with quotes.

But how can reporters stay informed and abreast of the latest club openings and special events? With the help of nightlife and social scene websites, of course.

Plenty of sites exist for the sole purpose of keeping hip club-hoppers in the know and on the guest list of the hottest places in town.

UrbanDaddy.com is a perfect example of one such site. It allows users to select one of several cities and provides daily updates on events for whichever city is chosen, along with special highlights on certain events. Rather than waiting until the day of the event UD lets users plan several days in advance, perfect for reporters who need to schedule face-time with the management. Variety is everything at UD, whose updates tend to have no correlation with one another, featuring stories such as a refurbished boxing gym one day followed by a neo-chic sushi bar the next.

Much like Urban Daddy, Flavorpill.com offers users a similar array of nightlife openings and events, but FP is much more food-focused than the scatterbrained UD. It might not be as polished as some of the other websites on this list, but FP is a handy guide to the local music-and-party scene that reads more like a blog than a professional website, making it easy to read and navigate.

Along with these websites, another useful tool that all journalists should be aware of are email lists. For special events, the foremost of these is Thrillist.com. Although its main site does allow users to search the day’s events, Thrillist is at its core a listserv that sends out daily emails with updates about happenings in the users selected town. Unless properly managed Thrillist can quickly become as annoying as spam, but it does provide a useful service alerting users to a very different strain of events from those picked up by other websites.

While reporters should still keep their ears to the ground and stay plugged into the local scene in their own ways, these websites allow journalists an easy in into events that might otherwise be outside of their social circle.

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