Scholarship in Action and the Syracuse Miracle
Edited by Bruce Kingma
Chapter 7: South Side Newspaper Project
Steve Davis It was a chilly, blustery Saturday in early spring 2010, and the cold wind outside suddenly seemed to sweep right through the cozy conference room where our small group was gathered. It was the first meeting of the board of directors since the distribution of 5,000 copies of the March issue of The Stand, the inaugural edition of a new community newspaper launched to serve an overlooked city neighborhood. Board members told me, the project founder, that they were already hearing grumbling about some of the stories and photographs in the 16-page, full-color first issue we had produced with such pride. The criticism wasn’t particularly specific, they said. Just some vague gripes. That said, the sentiment was clear: Don’t feel too good about yourself. ‘I’m hearing some complaints,’ said someone in the group. A second person agreed, with a ‘me too’. This was no surprise. After five years of hard work, these first returns on our project were pretty much as I expected. No backslaps. No hearty hugs. ‘Welcome to the world of newspapers,’ I told the Saturday caucus. The gathering included the four community residents who served on the board and our paid, part-time director who ran day-to-day operations for the free monthly newspaper and website started as a university collaboration with the Southside Community Coalition, whose mission is to serve the 20,000 or so residents of the 13205 ZIP code on the South Side of Syracuse, NY. The group that had gathered...
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