DNAInfo Debuts, Immediately Starts Talking Eating Meat, Brains

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The Chicago edition of New York's DNAInfo is a new attempt to bring hyperlocal journalism to the digital age. Or some such thing; if you want to get caught up in those kinds of debates, which have too often consumed such ventures in navel-gazing rather than serving readers, go here. It's a new site, it has some good food stuff on it, that's what you need to know as a reader. Most of the talk so far has focused on this piece about underground bacon makers, which, frankly, we think is a little less than meets the eye (these guys aren't that much closer to having a real business than lots of home charcuterists we know, trading their wares on the underground circuit). But there are a number of good stories there already in the Our Interesting City of Quirky Old Joints genre, like this one on Gepperth's Meat Market or this one on a diner favored by CTA personnel. And the standout, so far, is this one on eating brains, which goes into delightfully grisly detail. That said, the need to fit a newspaper-style format— those aphasic one sentence paragraphs, the focus on verifiable facts more than the color that really brings a story to life— is maybe holding the writing back a little. But it's new (and despite the claims in the Reader piece, many of the writers seem to be pretty new, too) so give it time— and bookmark it.