Helen Ubiñas knows there are voices and perspectives missing in journalism. In 2018, Ubiñas, who writes columns on equity, equality and justice for The Philadelphia Inquirer, experimented with the idea of a pop-up newsroom. The goal was to bridge gaps between local media and community members. While the pop-up newsrooms are on pause because of COVID, more are planned for the future.
It’s always been tough to convince editors to try a new comic strip, especially when it means killing a feature some segment of the audience has grown to love. That tension has only gotten worse in recent years, as cost-cutting deepened the risk-averse approach most newspapers take with their comics section. Unfortunately, like the newspapers they serve, syndicates feel the impact of journalism's digital transformation from printed pages to pixels on a screen.
Focusing on its content and the communities it serves is the secret behind the success of The Post and Courier newspaper, says Publisher P.J. Browning. While the COVID-19 pandemic was the death knell for many newspapers across the country, including 10 in South Carolina, The Post and Courier expanded into other parts of the state. Its family-owned business model has given the newspaper the leeway needed to hire more journalists, produce more content and grow its digital audience.
The nation’s first abolitionist newspaper, The Emancipator, has been reborn as a digital platform to dismantle racist systems. It's using a three-pronged approach to reach its audience. Editorial content will include articles and videos published on the website (and sometimes in the pages of partners, like the Boston Globe). It takes a “social-first” approach, sharing content to encourage conversation, not just sharing links. And it will involve community-based workshops and other events.
Talented visual journalists take us inside a moment, or a series of them, communicating information and inspiring emotion — whether it’s through a single image or hours of video footage. Top-of-the-field news photographers and videographers are technicians, creative visionaries, astute observers and chroniclers of history. They capture stories frame by frame, appending narratives and scripts with visual complements. This inaugural class of Shooting Stars comes from small publications and large corporate entities.