Community journalism from inside the newsroom |

Community journalism from inside the newsroom

Jack Queen, reporter

Something to talk about

My attachment to local news began at a very young age, when as a kid I would eat breakfast over the spread-out pages of the Austin American-Statesman. I didn’t always understand what I was reading, but the work that went into committing word and image to page was not lost on me. I knew it was important, whatever it was.

As I grew up and began to comprehend it, the paper became my entry pass into the public square. In the Texas capital this was (and still is) an especially lively place, and the Statesman kept it bustling with an unfettered stream of news and opinions. This impressed upon me the importance of a lively free press in a democratic society, where citizens need to know what’s going on and public officials need to know they’re being watched.

Working at the Summit Daily, one of my greatest joys is passing through a coffee shop or bar and overhearing people discussing our articles. To me, that’s one of the most important functions of a community paper: getting people talking about local issues, which often affect their daily lives a lot more than national headlines. So if you’re reading this, thank you. I hope we’re giving you plenty to talk about.

—Jack Queen, reporter

Each picture tells a story

I fell in love with photojournalism back in college in Montana where I got lucky enough to get hired to shoot for the campus daily newspaper, the Montana Kaimin. In that position, I got to meet people from all walks of life and share their stories to the world with visuals on a daily basis. Local newspapers bring the community together and keep them informed within their spaces.

It is important to have professional journalists around the world, from big cities to rural communities. The moments need to be captured and the stories need to written — the readers can count on the reliable news sources. What if we all missed the quality photo opportunity of a skier’s failed attempt to jump over the crowds without a local reporter writing a full-length article? Would this be a public outcry for justice? I truly think every community needs a newsroom with reliable journalists who have passion in what we do.

—Hugh Carey, photographer

Commitment to the community

This job at the Summit Daily News is my first reporting gig, ever. It’s a job that comes with a ton of pressure, not only to deliver accurate, meaningful information to the public, but also under deadlines while working on a constantly changing news landscape. It can be tough to invest energy and emotion into every story, but that’s what I’ve tried to do for every single story I’ve written for the Summit Daily and its thousands of daily readers. I care about the quality of work that goes out there every day — to make sure Summit residents are informed about things that truly hit home for them. It’s that zeal to inform my neighbors that makes this job the best I’ve ever had, and that care and attention is part and parcel of community journalism.

As local journalists, we invest a lot into our community, and the community commits a lot of trust in us. It is a critical bond that the Summit Daily nurtures and never takes for granted, and it’s a reason such a small newsroom manages to have so much quality production every day. I’m incredibly grateful to work here, and I think Summit is lucky to have this newsroom serving them.

—Deepan Dutta, reporter

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