As mainstream media outlets struggle to balance a commitment to serious journalism with the public’s seemingly insatiable appetite for cute animals, Modern Farmer and ModernFarmer.com are in an enviable position. Launched less than a year ago and funded by Canadian investment firm Fiore Capital, the quarterly and its digital counterpart manage both straight-faced reporting and adorable animal livecams.
Who’s clicking? “We have an audience of farmers, but we also have an audience that is just vaguely curious about animals or vegetables,” says executive editor Reyhan Harmanci from the publication’s offices in Hudson, N.Y. (No, it’s not a farm.) Digital director Jake Swearingen adds that when the publication asks readers about their lifestyles, the most common response is: “I want to be an informed consumer.”