Why Indianapolis Star added a beverage beat

Last Friday, I posted the news about the Indianapolis Star putting Amy Haneline on the Beer, Wine and Coffee beat.drinks I invited her to comment, and she finally got back to me this morning.

“Thanks for reaching out and for your interest in the beverage beat,” she writes in an email. “I thought it may be best to share with you a link to a story I wrote to introduce myself and the beat to our readers. I hope that answers most of your questions.”

My post from last Friday included this tweet: “So IndyStar cuts back education coverage and adds a reporter to the beer, wine and coffee beat? Congrats!”

Star executive editor Jeff Taylor tells Romenesko readers that the paper isn’t “shrinking” from education reporting. He writes:

We’re excited about the new beats we’ve created at IndyStar, including Amy’s new role. She will be writing about a variety of issues and fun topics that will connect with thousands of readers every week. That’s what we want: strong connections with our audience to help us grow.

At the same time we’ve expanded our entertainment and life coverage, we’ve invested heavily in investigative journalism. We’ve created a 15-member watchdog unit that focuses on a variety of high-interest beats, including government and education. We aren’t shrinking from education coverage.

Creating a beverage role doesn’t have anything do with our commitment to education stories and watchdog work. We can do both. It means that we want to be relevant to readers on all kinds of topics.

* A six-pack of reasons why Indy needs a beverage reporter (indystar.com)
* Why not share the research that led to the beat’s creation? (@jayrosen_nyu)
* Indianapolis Star adds a Beer, Wine and Coffee beat (jimromenesko.com)