I was hired by The Gazette as one of the first team members for a new initiative, which came to be known as We Create Here. It was an experiment in journalism and community building, hoping to make local media more relevant in this new world.
Although We Create Here is no more, I’m proud to say that many of the ideas that seemed outrageous at the time are now becoming more mainstream.
Our guiding principles were:
- Intent: Transparency over objectivity
- Collaboration: Together we are smarter and stronger
- Context: For understanding and empowerment
During this time I wore a lot of different hats. I was the primary content creator for a standalone website, the de facto webmaster and pitch-hit developer of said website, leader of dozens of community conversations, advocate for change inside a 130-year-old company and active member of the community I covered.
Frankly, it was exhausting – but I learned so much and grew more than I ever would have imagined was possible in a two-year period.
And I was able to do work I am proud of:
- Profiles of local business leaders
- Convening conversations (sometimes they were conversations about conversation)
- In-depth, follow-up reporting that often wouldn’t be possible on a larger beat
- Experimenting with interactives (link opens an image – sadly these were not preserved very well when the We Create Here content was migrated to our parent site.)
- Curation – from creating evergreen resource listings (another image) to weekly news roundups