Giving Voice

The voice of Historic Northeast since 1932. That’s not just a tag line or some cool little mantra, that’s exactly what we here at the House of News strive to do: give the community and communities within a voice. Recently, however, the news-dog has come under fire for not writing news stories that are full of pink ponies and rainbows, and not repping the community the way some think we should, even being called “hostile” or “exploitative” in our news coverage.

Community journalism isn’t just reporting hard news. It’s about giving a voice to the community, regardless of what defines that community. We’re happy to tell the ponies and rainbow stories celebrating neighborhood victories, but we’re also going to report the ugly warts that go along with living in the city’s urban core.

When a homeless man was killed behind the BP on Independence Avenue a few years back, the Dog did his best to give that forgotten piece of society a voice in the follow up coverage. When an aspiring young street artist was gunned down recently at Truman and Hardesty, we strived to tell the story that nobody else was telling, about a young life of artistic promise and talent cut short by bad life choices. When the discussions were taking place about relocating the residents of Chouteau Courts during the summer of 2017, we told their story about being a throwaway piece of society that nobody wanted living anywhere near them. The vile, racist and degrading social media thread that started as a result of those discussions was probably the biggest example of institutional racism this dog has ever witnessed. For the record, coverage of that series of events was recently picked up by KCPT’s Flatland KC series. It was broadcast as part of a larger conversation about affordable housing, race and communities; specifically communities of people not welcomed in the great, white northern suburbs of the city.

Most recently, our managing editor Paul Thompson embedded with KCPD and their social workers on a homeless camp sweep as officers searched for stolen property, a result of the recent string of burglaries that gripped the Scarritt Renaissance and Pendleton Heights neighborhoods. The resulting story and podcast featured prominently the stars and stripes flying at one of the camps, an iconic image of the proudness of a people largely maligned and misunderstood. Once again, our story was picked up by the local public radio station KCUR, as part of a larger conversation on their Central Standard show that discussed homelessness and how officers and KCPD social workers treated the residents of the camp by attempting to plug them in to available assistance resources.

To that end, this compassionate-minded News-dog will continue to give voice to the Historic Northeast community. We’ll continue to tell the untold stories that bring the human touch to an otherwise violent world. Lastly, we’ll continue to deliver award-winning news on a variety of media platforms in order to keep our community and the communities therein informed. But most of all, we’ll continue to give a voice to the voiceless.

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