Reviving Culture Crime News?


It could be the sense of nostalgia that comes with the crisp autumn air and the browning of my garden. It could be the grant report that I absolutely must do today but am avoiding. It could be anything. However over the past few days I’ve found myself missing the Culture Crime News database website, as well as the weekly Culture Crime News newsletter. I’m toying, perhaps in a futile manner, with the idea of bringing them back.

To jog your memories, Culture Crime News was a longish running email list and later email list plus online database of popular media stories related to art, heritage, and crime. Every week, usually on Mondays I would sent out the email with a long list of the culture crime news stories of the week. They were all catagorised on the database site. This was surprisingly high volume. I’d find between 10 and 20 on topic media stories per day. Over 2000 people signed up for the email list. Many others used the website or read the weekly blog post.

To note here and now, at the topish: I never got paid for Culture Crime News. It was a project of love, always done in my own time and at my own expense.

I liked Culture Crime News because, well, it was useful to me and seemingly useful to others. Putting it together every day and every week kept me up to date on anything happening in my field. Especially when I was more junior, this was vital to my gaining a broad understanding of art, heritage, and crime. However, as I pulled in to “mid career”, and “pandemic”, I just didn’t have the time anymore. CCNews slipped and slipped. Then it went away all together. Then I formally pulled the plug.

However, it’s useful! It really is! Which leaves me toying with ways to bring it back.

One possibility would be to bring on one or two volunteers, which I think is the only viable way forward for this. They would likely need to be junior folks who would use the work like I did: to really get a handle on the field. They would also need to be able to devote consistent time to it. They also likely would need to use a Mac (because of how I have everything set up). This would, of course, be unpaid. Sigh. But I can sort of justify that with (a) I don’t get paid for it and (b) I know the tangible real gain that comes from producing this every week and (c) I give sparkling job references.

Consider this post an opportunity to think out loud about this. You may see a call for volunteers soon.