Building Bridges in the Black Community

Apr. 23, 2021

We're going to lead off this edition with a NewStart update. In particular, we're going to call your attention to a Columbia Journalism Review article published Thursday that focuses on one of our outstanding fellows, Crystal Good.

We've talked in the past in this newsletter about the work that Crystal has put into creating her new publication, Black By God: The West Virginian. This CJR article goes a little more in-depth on Crystal's vision and process of listening to her potential audience.

Good and the other students in the first year of the program have been presented with a lot of ideas, business models and theories about what couldwork for them as they attempt to transform existing publications or create their own.

I say "could" because there is no magic bullet here. Each publication is different. Each community is different. What works in one may not work in another. As you can read in the CJR article, Crystal makes an extremely good point when she says, "To be honest, I feel like I could fully launch Black by God tomorrow, if I wanted to make it a paper for the progressive white community in West Virginia and outside and have their support."

But that's not her target audience. Reaching that audience and gaining trust with that audience will take much more work, but it is work that Crystal is not shying away from.

As Crystal says in the article, "...there’s a lot of work to be done that allows for Black leadership, that allows for Black voices to have their own microphones, not the microphone passed to them and then taken back."