Journalism of Engagement: St. Louis Beacon

8 10 2011

In lecture on Monday, a guest speaker from the St. Louis Beacon spoke to us about the need for localization of papers and the vast importance of providing your local audience with exclusive news and information. The St. Louis Beacon is a non-profit, large donor funded newspaper that strives to inform its readers about art, education, health and economy. The Beacon, also, tries to focus on unknown or eccentric news that differentiates itself from other newspapers.

The Beacon uses weekly meetings like Beacon And Eggs, to garner local discourse and to incorporate people’s opinions into the community discussion. They also use Beacon Festival to gain more local support and get a wider range of small donors. Also, they created a personal community page, “I Back the Beacon” that gives donors a medium to explain why they enjoy the Beacon and what other topics they want to see covered.

Overall, the Beacon aggressively immerses itself in the very epicenter of community discourse, and provides citizens with not only a platform to speak, but information that is essentially to them, by them. With the changing of media to more localization, it is imperative for news agencies to either invest new resources to cover these topics or the creation of new papers like the St. Louis Beacon must provide this service to the community.

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