March 2, 2021

Wes Brown is publisher of the Daily Record, the oldest business publication in Arkansas with a circulation of 10,000.

He’s proud of his outlet becoming an expert on the Paycheck Protection Program and CARES Act to help inform the small business and health care communities. However, he had to cut his newspaper run, furlough hours and decrease page counts to cope with the financial impact in the early days of the pandemic.

As one of the few Black journalists in Arkansas, Brown has also seen the impact of COVID-19 on the Black population and is doing what he can to fill the void of a now diminished Black press.

“That niche is missing in the news media,” Brown said. “There is not much coverage on how COVID-19 has impacted Black consumers, how Black businesses didn’t get any of the PPP money, things like that.”

Listen to the oral history interview:

Read the transcript.

See The Daily Record from April 6, 2020.

See The Daily Record from June 1, 2020.

See more from The Essential Workers, an oral history project tracking the experiences of locally owned newspapers in Mid-America during the pandemic.

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Teri Finneman is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas. She previously worked as a print journalist and multimedia correspondent covering state…
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