The alternative New River Voice, which has been silent for several years, is back and with perhaps more volume than ever before. I got an email from my good friend Bill Kovarik, a professor of journalism at Radford University and a former newspaper journalist, announcing the comeback. Bill asked me (and a few others) to be on the advisory board and, of course, I’m all in.
We’re looking for good news people who want to take part in this new online-only venture that could work its way into a profitable venture (though 501C(3) is the goal. Let Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me know (email@example.com) if you’re interested.
Here’s Bill’s release on the revival:
I would deem it a kindness if you could:
- — Advise the Voice as we develop a set of founding principles (below);
- — Be willing to serve as an advisor, board member or section editor yourself, as appropriate;
- — Write news or provide photos or videos for the Voice
- — Refer us to others who would be appropriate advisors or board members, especially by forwarding this email;
- — Help with donations of media equipment or funding as an organizational structure is established this summer.
The current status is this: Tim and Taryn Jackson, who established the Voice in 2007, are in the process of selling it so that we can create a 501 c-3 non-profit and other appropriate business structures to contain it. (A membership coop is one good idea). My role as publisher will be to organize and help create this structure for better public service information and in-depth journalism for the region, and to create vehicles for revenue through advertising and media services. The 501-c-3 will own the Voice as soon as possible.
Here are some of the founding principles, and I would appreciate your reactions and suggestions:
1. New River Voice will uphold the highest ideals of American journalism, subscribing to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which advises: Seek the truth and publish it; Minimize harm; Be accountable; and Act independently. www.spj.org/ethics.asp
2. New River Voice will publish regional news and information with an emphasis on public service, scientific facts, and appropriate context. We will seek out the most interesting people and the best ideas from all frequencies of the political and cultural spectrum. We will focus on health, science, education, literature, art, architecture, planning, design and environment. We will be fearless and absolutely committed to the defense of democracy and First Amendment freedoms. We will observe and encourage the Spirit of our Age.
3. New River Voice will serve as a laboratory for generating media services revenue as an important supplement and/or alternative to display and classified advertising. We will also develop novel structures for government and public information access (or what Walter Lippmann once called “organized intelligence.”)
4. New River Voice will draw in outstanding writers, editors, programmers, bloggers, photographers, videographers, outreach specialists, poets and political observers to provide a platform for the vision and social construction of our common future.
5. New River Voice will work with and apply for membership in appropriate professional organizations, especially the Virginia Press Association (as an online member), the Virginia Center for Investigative Reporting, and, nationally, the Local Independent Online News association.
The Voice has published several new stories in the past week, two from columnist Michael Abraham, and one recent article about 3-D printing for PPE coordinated by Virginia Tech engineering. Others concerning dam safety and COVID 19 are in the works.
I have a dozen other assignments for volunteers who would like to be involved at this point. Its pretty easy to cover the news these days — there are lots of public meetings online, so it just takes time and bandwidth, not a lot of traveling.