“That’s what local papers are meant to do,” Ms. Brownstone said. “We’re not built for a lot of other things, but we’re built for this.”
Sydney Brownstone is a reporter with the Seattle Times and she said that to the New York Times in a story about how the paper is handling the epidemic in Seattle. Her description of the Seattle Times newsroom will be familar to every journalist who’s worked in one. Focused, ready to do anything to tell its community’s stories, and willing to put in long hours to do it.
Meanwhile, the Nieman Lab pulls together a great list of examples of how news operations are covering the virus, again for the benefit of their communities. Included is the North Carolina News Collaborative, which I’ve mentioned earlier.
“The collaborative is a fairly new group comprised of more than 20 newspapers across the state. Robyn Tomlin, executive editor of The (Raleigh) News & Observer and The (Durham) Herald-Sun, said the group is also working on a large, statewide reporting effort. That project is likely to publish in the next week.”
Good news for newspaper readers in N.C.
The world is different now for all of us. Journalism is slowly changing, too. More collaboration (although Dan Gillmor is correct when he says there’s not enough). More focus on digital with paywalls lowered. But serving the community by getting people the information they need to navigate this public crisis remains as the core of every good journalist’s value system.