The Border Belt Independent is fulfilling a two-fold mission to serve both readers and newspapers in four of North Carolina’s most impoverished counties. The publication provides in-depth reporting to local newspapers in its rural coverage area. “Their reporters are going from meeting to meeting and might hear something, but they don’t have three or four days to check that out,” said BBI President Les High. “So that’s what we do.”
BLCK Press is a collaborative newsroom dedicated to cultivating talented, diverse voices in the media industry. The publication works with ambitious journalists of color to challenge the status quo and give communities of color a platform to be heard. “We see ourselves as a bridge for young journalists of color to be welcomed into a culture where they can learn and grow and gain hands-on experience,” said Georgia Fort, the founder of BLCK Press.
A degree in journalism might take the aspiring journalist far, but it’s a lifelong passion for journalism that led Francesca Chambers to recently be named White House correspondent by Gannett for USA TODAY. She shared the roots of that passion in a late-May 2022 webinar with Mike Blinder, host of E&P Reports and publisher of Editor & Publisher.
Although sponsored content and its sister format, branded content, are by definition marketing tactics, when they deliver important information, people engage with it gladly. News publishers have traditionally provided the essential part of that information: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Now they have the opportunity to provide the part today’s consumers and readers also want — lifestyle content about home life, fashion, food, pets, travel and thousands of other topics.
The timeless pursuit of contracting experts to give new insights is a fairly standard practice in the business world. And whether it’s a consultant, a subject matter expert or anyone else, it’s vital in these situations to think of why you brought someone in to look at the situation and give their assessment. And, once you have someone you’re confident can help you, you have to listen to them!