There's been a lot going on in Raleigh's media landscape during the past couple of weeks. The News & Observer's paywall went into effect. New Raleigh, a site that helped define local online conversation in Raleigh, will stop publishing. And the beautiful Goodnight, Raleigh! blog is making some big changes at the top.
Amid this change and with the new year, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about what's ahead for us at the Record. We are entering our fifth year of publication and we are working to continue growing our operation to live up to our mission of public service journalism for Raleigh. We have some exciting plans for the year ahead, and many are already in motion.
- We hired our first staff reporter. Almost all of the reporting on our site comes from professional freelance reporters. We rely on these hard-working contractors for the bulk of our coverage. But as we grow, we need to create some real jobs and put reporters on staff. Ariella Monti, who has covered city hall for for the Record, is now our first staff reporter. She will serve as our City Hall Bureau Chief in this new part-time position that began Jan. 1.
- We are getting ready to hire a new managing director. Thanks to a generous grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, we are now taking applications for a new co-director position. The new person will work alongside me to handle the business and fundraising side of the operation. This job has been written into our bylaws for years and we finally have the money to make it a reality. The idea here is to have a big wall between fundraising and money stuff and our news operations.
- We have two new grants. As I just mentioned, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation is funding the first year of our new managing editor position. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which has supported us for the past two years, provided another grant to the Record to help us continue our reporting and building our capactiy for the next two years.
- We will continue our reporting on local government and broaden our coverage into new areas. Every year is a growth year at the Record, and we are always looking for what's not being covered by our friends at the bigger news organizations in town. We want to hear from you on these questions of where to expand. We plan to get into more neighborhood-based reporting of what's impacting your community in Raleigh. We can't do that without your help. What are the issues impacting your neighborhood? What isn't being covered and how can we use our limited resources to cover your community? In other words, what are you not getting in your local media diet? I encourage you to leave thoughts in the comments section below or email me directly at editor[at]raleighpublicrecord.org.