In partnership with the American Journalism Project, we convened a community conversation with people from all across West Virginia to begin our initiative to listen more closely to the information needs of the audience that we want to serve.
Our first conversation edition asked “champions” – those that we identified as community leaders who could become champions for our startup newsroom – to gather on a Zoom call to discuss our work in the context of West Virginia’s media landscape and history. We heard from religious leaders, union members, environmental activists, farmers, former politicians and others about their perspectives on how local news has either served or failed to serve communities across West Virginia. The first round of community conversations took place in the third week of August 2020. Through the notes, connections and questions we received in the conversations, we plan to shape our content distribution strategies, coverage priorities and future community engagement initiatives so that our work remains closely in tune with the information needs of West Virginians.