This piece originally appeared in Local Edition, our newsletter following the digital transformation of local news. Want to be part of the conversation? You can subscribe here.
Last fall, someone at a journalism conference asked me a question I’ve never been asked before: What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
As a person who spends a great amount of time around journalists, I can’t believe I’ve never thought to ask this before. My questions are often: How did you find this story? What did you learn? Did anything change?
But “what are you excited about?” gets at that feeling when the puzzle pieces start coming together and the picture emerges. It’s this buzz of understanding that led a lot of us to ask questions for a living. It’s the magic of getting the photos, the video, the words, the data, the design, the engagement — all of it — right.
In these strange pandemic days, “excited” might not be the best word. I am not excited about tracking layoffs or journalist deaths because of COVID-19. But I am dedicated to it. Maybe you’re devoted to bringing real information to your community. Maybe you carry the weight of witnessing deaths and job losses and economic devastation.
Whatever the right word is, we want to share the work you’re proud of and learn about how you did it. I’ll tell you more next week about where this idea came from, but I’d like to make a shift in Local Edition and highlight your work each week.
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Here’s a Google Form to get started. You can share something you made or built or something you admire. I’ll take it from there and, if I highlight it, will let you know first.
By the way, I don’t have any stories right now that feel exciting. I’m not sure when that word will feel right again. But I do have stories that feel important, compelling and meaningful, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Kristen Hare covers the transformation of local news for Poynter.org and writes a weekly newsletter on the transformation of local news. You can subscribe here. Kristen can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @kristenhare.