‘Flannery’s Porch’ prototypes millennial news, doing it like a Netflix or Amazon series


The first episode of a newly developed millennial news series has just been released through the IndieGoGo social crowdsourcing platform.

Two years in development and breaking a lot of the rules of old mainstream media while adhering to its standards and ethics, Flannery’s Porch uses the story of two women, struggling to preserve the historic homestead of iconic Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, as a backdrop for reporting on a wide range of current news issues.

For instance, the first episode being released deals with environmental sustainability in the process of reporting on a bluegrass festival held at O’Connor’s Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Future episodes will explore other relevant modern issues including social diversity, economic equality, LGBT rights, animal conservation, historic preservation and unbridled commercialization. Many of those topics are central to O’Connor’s writings and legacy.

However, Flannery’s Porch focuses not so much on the late novelist but rather on the efforts and passions of the  farm-museum’s current director, Elizabeth Wylie, and her assistant, April Moon Carlson, as they strive to protect Andalusia from the ravages of time and neglect. Thousands of people from all over the world visit the landmark each year.

“It’s episodic. It’s character-driven. It is full of substance and the authenticity everyone seeks, particularly millennials, when hungry for information to enrich their lives,” explained the project’s senior news experience designer, Nolan Miles. “It’s news, but it’s done in a way you’d expect out of a Netflix series. You’ll want to come back. Hopefully you’ll want to make this part of your own experience, your own lifestyle.”

And just as Flannery’s Porch demonstrates the new avenues journalism is taking, it is also launching in a very non-traditional manner. The four episodes of season one are being posted publicly over the next several weeks on the social crowdsourcing site IndieGoGo.

“Normally crowdfunding websites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are where projects like ours go to try to get their initial production funding,” said Engagement Producer Murphy Burke. “But these are also great places to build and engage a community around your story. So we decided why not use IndieGoGo to actually launch Flannery’s Porch and give people more of a reason to come see what we’re doing. If it clicks the way we intend, then our audience will share the show with their friends and even help us do season two.”

The link flannerysporch.com goes directly to the project on IndieGoGo, where the “Sustainability” episode can be found.

After the launch campaign ends, that web address will go to the Flannery’s Porch mobile webapp. The Western iMedia news experience is being designed specifically for a mobile-connected millennial community.

Read the full piece at ‘Flannery’s Porch’ series seeks to prototype millennial news | WKU News


Flannery’s Porch is a production of millennial news startup Western iMedia, based at Western Kentucky University and operating under the umbrella of The Newsplexer Projects.
From newsplexer.com