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The community journalism we've all been craving

The community journalism we've all been craving
By Jewel Wicker • Issue #11 • View online

I’ve been pretty vocal about the things that are lacking from the publications we have here in Atlanta and how much I miss Creative Loafing. I read the work of Gavin Godfrey, Maurice Garland and Rodney Carmichael in the alt-weekly when I was in college and they played a HUGE role in my desire to become an entertainment reporter. I scored my first professional byline the day I graduated college in the publication. When I went freelance, one of my first regular gigs was a column in Creative Loafing, even as the publication was on the decline. It’s truly a shame that residents can’t benefit from this source of news anymore and that young reporters don’t have the opportunity to develop their voice in this space.
Needless to say, I was SUPER excited when reporter (and former Creative Loafing staffer) Max Blau approached me about his desire to start a community journalism project in Atlanta. I attended several of the early meetings to figure out what this publication might look like and did some mentoring of community journalists earlier this year as they were putting together their first issue.
Still, when Canopy Atlanta published their first issue on The West End on Friday, it was beyond anything I could’ve imagined. IT IS AMAZING. Some of the best reporters in Atlanta are a part of this project, and are displaying a commitment to producing the types of content that our traditional publications have historically ignored.
I’m keeping the newsletter short this week because I mostly just want y’all to spend time reading this entire issue. If you can afford to do so and care about local journalism, I highly recommend making a donation to the Canopy Atlanta team.
I’ve become obsessed with this podcast that looks at pop culture and break news moments (i.e. The Stepford Wives, Anastasia, Enron, etc.) and seeks to reframe the ways in which we think about them.
This is an essential podcast about the relationship between hip-hop and mass incarceration. It’s easily my current favorite podcast. (Which isn’t a surprise considering Rodney Carmichael is one of the hosts.)
This is actually a book but I highly recommend listening to it instead of reading it. Mariah Carey narrates and it is absolute GOLD. I’ve been a fan of the singer for most of my life, but I’m so impressed by the ways she reflects on her upbringing. It doesn’t hurt that she bursts into song at random moments throughout the book, either.
This is a long read, but it’s absolutely worth it. GPB’s Stephen Fowler breaks down those long wait lines at polling places in predominately Black neighborhoods in metro Atlanta.
Atlanta Needs its Gay Bars Now More than Ever by Tess Malone for Atlanta magazine
I’ve known Tess since my days interning at Atlanta magazine so I’m admittedly biased but this piece on gay bars in Atlanta does such a good job of explaining issues of intersectionality, gentrification and more.
What Kamala Harris Learned About Power at Howard by Astead W. Herndon for The New York Times
I really enjoyed reading about Kamala’s time at Howard and the ways in which it shaped her politics.
This transition, from outsider to insider, was typical for Black activism in the 1980s, said Jennifer Thomas, a Howard professor who did not know Ms. Harris but attended the college in the same decade and had overlapping social circles with her. During those years, a generation of students felt a burden to carry the mantle of the civil rights movement of their parents, but there was no consensus on how to do so.
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Jewel Wicker

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