Happy third birthday to Chalkbeat!
PHOTO: Will Clayton via Flikr
Three years ago Friday, Chalkbeat Indiana appeared on the Internet for the first time with a very simple (and temporary) website, one local journalist (me) and a daunting task ahead to try to make the state’s first nonprofit education news organization a permanent part of the Indiana media landscape.
The experiment is going well.
Today, thousands of educators, parents, students, community leaders and others rely on Chalkbeat for news and information about education in our state. Two outstanding reporters have joined our local team, and we have a recently redesigned website. If you’re one of our regular readers, thanks for helping us make Chalkbeat work!
Earlier this year, Chalkbeat and two partner organizations won one of Indiana’s top journalism prizes. This summer, a Chalkbeat-led series dove into the critical, but under-reported, story of school integration in Indianapolis and where it stands today. Chalkbeat also is the best source for information about how education connects to the 2016 election in Indiana.
If you are a regular reader, you probably know about our network by now, but in case you have recently discovered us, please check out our sister sites in New York, Tennessee and Colorado. (Plus, we have a pilot site now in Detroit!)
If you’re new to us, please sign up for our newsletter here.
Chalkbeat believes in telling stories: The stories of teachers, the stories of parents, the stories of children, and the stories of our schools.
Now we’re inviting readers to share their experiences with Detroit schools — submit yours here. We’ll publish the best on our site plus select a few to be told live on stage at the Charles H. Wright Museum on March 17 at our upcoming event hosted by Satori Shakoor of The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers. (Get your tickets here before they sell out.)
For a preview, watch this video of last week’s Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, where Erin Einhorn, our senior reporter in Detroit, shared a story about the moment she realized Detroiters needed new and better ways to get information about their schools. Her story begins at the 7-minute mark.
It’s a busy time at Chalkbeat. We’ve officially expanded to Detroit, where we plan to continue and strengthen our work of elevating underrepresented voices and keeping communities informed.
As we grow, we want to ensure that our reporting always represents the perspective of you, our dedicated readers. Will you help us as we continue this work?
We’re looking for 2-3 representatives from each of our five locations (Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, New York, and Tennessee) plus a few national representatives to join our Reader Advisory Board.
Serving on this board means you will help guide our coverage, hold us accountable, and help us build strong relationships in the communities we cover. We are asking members to commit to a two-year term that requires participating in three 90-minute video conference calls with Chalkbeat editors and reporters per school year (six in total for a two-year term).
In these meetings, we’ll discuss upcoming projects, brainstorm new angles and source opportunities, discuss how our team is working towards sustainability, and hear your feedback, amongst other things. Members should anticipate some light work between meetings, including regularly reading Chalkbeat stories.
You should apply if you:
- Care deeply about education
- Want to see your community reflected in our journalism
- Are excited by and want to support our core values
- Can commit to three evening video calls per school year
Interested readers can apply via the application below (or in a new tab here) or send any questions to email@example.com.