A project of Democracy Fund

August 28, 2020

Local Fix: Long Reads, Local Needs, See You in September


Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. But first, we always begin with one good idea…

One Good Idea: This is our “Gone Fishin’” sign
As the summer somehow winds toward an end, we are taking a step back from the Local Fix this week and next, inspired by MLK50The SprawlEdNC, and others. To hold you over until September, here are a few recommendations for other newsletters on local news insights and long reads on local news needs. We’ll see you soon.

More Newsletters on Local News

The writers behind these newsletters add crucial insights to understanding why and how local journalism can be transformed. We learn something new from every issue. See for yourself and sign up:

  • Local Connection from the Center for Cooperative Media 
    • Each week Carla Baranauckas rounds up specific story ideas that matter to many communities and sends them out with the questions and tips to shape them into the right story for your own area. Recent suggestions include the increased need for school nurses, people finding solace in local parks, COVID-19 disparities, and more.
  • Local Edition from Poynter 
    • Kristen Hare has reminded us to “stop fetishizing local news and do something.” This weekly newsletter connects readers to the people who are making local news work, like the journalists who collaborated across 18 Minnesota newsrooms to cover one day in the pandemic and the Iowa journalists who faced both covering and living through the derecho storm. 
  • Migratory Notes from Daniela Gerson and Elizabeth Aguilera
    • Since the 2016 election, these journalists and researchers have tracked and summarized changes in immigration policy both locally and nationally, drawing from news organizations of all sizes. Daniela also published the Center for Community Media’s Digital First Responders report earlier this year, analyzing the state of many local, immigrant-serving digital outlets. 
  • NC Local from the North Carolina Local News Workshop and Corey Hutchins’ newsletter on Colorado media
    • Both newsletters act as connective tissues across the states’ local news ecosystems, monitoring new hires and projects and local trends in and around newsrooms. We love to see the innovation surfaced across the states and shoutouts of different journalists.
  • Local Matters from local reporters and Investigative Reporters & Editors 
    • Nobody knows the difference investigative journalism makes — and the work that goes into it — more than the journalists themselves. In 2017, a group started by Joseph Cranney, Alexandra Glorioso, and Brett Murphy began rounding up powerful investigative journalism from local newspapers nationwide. Check out their archives for ideas for your next local investigation.

Long Reads on Local Needs

We recognize and reflect on the ongoing movement for racial justice in our country, exacerbated this week by the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Key to that justice is the accountability and illumination that local journalism can provide. Here are some thoughtful articles that shed light on this critical role and the tangible steps we can take to move forward. 

 Have a good weekend,
Teresa and Christine
@gteresa and @newsbyschmidt

The Local Fix is a project of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which supports promising new experiments redefining the public square in ways that make it more digital, participatory, and inclusive. The Fix was started by Josh Stearns and Molly de Aguiar. Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund. You can find a full list of the organizations here. Follow us on Twitter at @TheLocalNewsLab.