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Clegg, Ellen


A groundbreaking study of the journalism startups that are solving the local news crisis one community at a time

A must-read for activists, entrepreneurs, and journalists who want to start local news outlets in their communities

Local news is essential to democracy. Meaningful participation in civic life is impossible without it. However, local news is in crisis. According to one widely cited study, some 2,500 newspapers have closed over the last generation. And it is often marginalized communities of color who have been left without the day-to-day journalism they need to govern themselves in a democracy.

Veteran journalists Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy cut through the pessimism surrounding this issue, showing readers that new, innovative journalism models are popping up across the country to fill news deserts and empower communities. What Works in Community News examines more than a dozen of these projects, including:

  • Sahan Journal, a digital publication dedicated to reporting on Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities;
  • MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit news outlet in Memphis, TN, focused on poverty, power, and public policy;
  • New Haven Independent / WNHH / La Voz Hispana de Connecticut, a digital news project that expanded its reach in the New Haven community through radio and a Spanish-language partnership;
  • Storm Lake Times Pilot, a print newspaper in rural Iowa innovating with a hybrid for-profit/nonprofit model; and
  • Texas Tribune, once a pioneering upstart, now one of the most well-known—and successful—digital newsrooms in the country.

Through a blend of on-the-ground reporting and interviews, Clegg and Kennedy show how these operations found seed money and support, and how they hired staff, forged their missions, and navigated challenges from the pandemic to police intimidation to stand as the last bastion of collective truth—and keep local news in local hands.

Story Locale:New Jersey; Minneapolis, MN; Bedford, MA; Colorado; Memphis, TN; Mendocino County, CA; New Haven, CT; Storm Lake, IA; TX

What Works in Community News

SKU: 9780807009949

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