hand-drawn "Weekly News," with children's writing, five issues laid out

A short note: Newsrooms that serve

Five hand-drawn newspapers, colorful, in children's writing, laid out.
The Weekly News

It’s been one year and my niece and her friends’ news startup is going strong! They reached two-thirds circulation of their class and are now reviewing their costs (copying machines and staples) and distribution (reading period is a good time for news) while still serving their classmates.

I’ve spent a lot of the last year learning about how different newsrooms operate and who they serve. It’s not an understatement to say that I’ve learned a lot from these independent student journalists. They’ve reminded me how important joy is in this profession.

I’ve also spent a lot of this year researching, coaching and writing about how we do journalism. It’s been an enriching process, a give and take in which I’ve gained new perspectives on what journalism can be.

Among the organizations I work with is Listening Post Collective, whose ethos aligns well with mine. Namely that great journalism recognizes and prioritizes the people it’s meant to serve. I wrote more about engagement in newsrooms in Source, the platform for the generous Open News community.

I’m also honored to start my term on the board of my own local news outlet, Charlottesville Tomorrow. While I wrote that newsrooms need to get more involved with their communities, I do think it’s our shared responsibility to make sure we live in a healthy media ecosystem. I hope as a board member I can help the Charlottesville newsroom follow its ambitions and continue to serve its neighbors.

All of these perspectives are fueling one more project: I am building my own company to serve people who are too often caricatured in media, and need space to tell their own stories. It’s a work in progress, but I’m excited to put into practice all I’ve learned, and to keep learning from you about what you value in news media. Mostly, I can’t wait to tell you about all the amazing collaborators and advisors I’ve been fortunate to work with so far.

My niece has reminded me: Being a journalist is great fun! So thank you for continuing to read and subscribe. Please keep an eye on this space!