The demise of local news is by no means inevitable. In the last few years, a surprising good-news story has emerged that offers a hopeful antidote to the struggling local media industry. Powered by foundations and individual donors, promising examples of nonprofit news organizations across the country are showing how to turn the tide.
VTDigger has promoted Paul Heintz and Maggie Cassidy to its top newsroom positions. Heintz will serve as editor-in-chief and Cassidy as managing editor.
I recently spoke with Carla Minet, a journalist and executive director of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico, about what life is like on the island now and the key role of information in disaster response.
The three biggest winners Friday — each took home three awards — were Enlace Latino NC, Montana Free Press, and Santa Cruz Local.1 Those sites serve, respectively: Spanish speakers in North Carolina (roughly 690,000 people); Montana residents (1.1 million), and residents of metro Santa Cruz, Calif. (267,000).
The LION Awards Ceremony occurred during the Independent News Sustainability Summit, celebrating sustainable businesses and journalistic excellence in independent online news. AJP grantee winners include Documented, Block Club Chicago, Montana Free Press, Chalkbeat and Sahan Journal.
Enlace Latino NC, the first Spanish-language nonprofit digital news outlet, started by immigrants Paola Jaramillo and Walter Gomez, is geared towards informing and sourcing its Spanish-speaking readers. They cover the statehouse in Raleigh in order to educate residents about the mechanics of voting.
The Spotlight PA Election Center includes helpful guides on how to research candidates, become poll workers, and vote. This year, Spotlight also launched a special election series, One Vote, Two Pennsylvanias, which explains, through policy proposals and issue-based reporting, the visions the candidates for Pennsylvania governor have for the state.
In a “Last Week Tonight” segment, host John Oliver talks about the outlets that cover crime, the incentives that drive them and the flawed sources they rely upon, referencing reporting from former City Bureau fellows, Yana Kunichoff and Sam Stecklow in partnership with the Chicago Reader, on how police unions have influenced crime reporting.
Jon Ralston of the Nevada Independent and Katie Meyer of Spotlight PA joined Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting on PBS NewsHour to talk about the important races playing out in their states.