When I returned to Warren after a five-year stint as an Air Force spouse and writer for the Schriever Sentinel at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, I felt something was missing.
As I settled back into the sports desk at our local legacy paper, I realized that although some local stories were being told, our community needed a space dedicated to chronicling its rich athletic history.
Just as my colleague Andy Close and I started mulling the idea, a virus began ravaging the world — and we soon found ourselves among the thousands of journalists laid off in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
We knew it was time to stop mulling and get to work. But we realized our community needed more than just a chronicle of its sporting glory. Like so many communities, Warren County’s local media outlets had become just another title for corporate conglomerates with no actual ties to the community.
Andy and I knew that Warren deserved more than just a front page full of crime and a half hour on the radio once a week.
So we launched Your Daily Local to help fill the void and start telling more of the stories of Warren County. Stories about local people, places, and events — written by journalists who were born and raised here and who understand what Warren County is all about.
We were determined to amplify all the good things people are doing to help build our community, instead of focusing on the negative stories fueling our community’s downward spiral.
Over the last two years, we’ve done just that.
We were the first to share a school board member’s mask project and how Sheffield students tried to keep a sense of normalcy during remote learning. We told Kevin Ignatius’ story about founding a film company and why they shot a feature film in Warren County. We’ve covered new and growing events like Warren County Pride and the return of Music on the Mountain.
We don’t shy away from asking tough questions, either.
We broke the story of Bluestem closing its Irvine Distribution Center, and kept a close eye on the battle over masks in schools. We’ve given municipal governments like Glade and Pine Grove more coverage than they’ve seen in decades.
And we ran an investigative series on COVID in our state correctional institutes and co-produced a podcast investigating the Damien Sharp case.
Oh, and we still found a way to chronicle those athletes adding to our county’s sports history. We covered everything from state champions to fantastic finishes to our community’s athletes continuing their careers beyond high school.
But we can’t do it alone.
Reporting requires resources, and we need your help to keep our community journalism sustainable. That’s why we’re asking our readers to chip in a monthly contribution.
Your contribution will let us write more, dig deeper, and keep telling our community’s stories. We’re particularly interested in digging into local stories that might otherwise go unreported or, at least, not get the attention they deserve.
If just 50 of you could contribute just one hour’s worth of your wages each month, we can keep doing our part to reverse the trend of community newsroom closures — and keep Warren County well covered.
Publisher, Your Daily Local