There’s a nasty rumor involving the future of journalism.
Some say it’s a dying vocation. Some say it’s a waste of time to invest in journalism education.
Lies I say. A bunch of nasty lies.
The future of journalism is in the hands of a group of creative students. We present the students enrolled in Community Journalism and News Editing at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media as the staff of Durham Voice.
The Voice is not new. In 2008, Jock Lauterer started the student-produced publication to cover news in Northeast Central Durham – at the time the most resource disparate section of Durham. Lauterer brought a vision for community journalism within a 95-block area in need of more than the broadcasting of bad news. The VOICE offered a glimpse into the lives of people and activities transcended of names and places in a crime log.
For more than 10 years, students enrolled in the Community Journalism class at UNC-CH reported and wrote stories edited by the students from the News Editing class. The newsroom closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and Lauterer’s retirement. Lauterer believes strong community journalism strengthens communities by developing a strong sense of place.
That vision refuses to die.
The VOICE returns under the guidance of Carl W. Kenney II, teaching assistant professor at Hussman. He comes to the VOICE after decades of writing about Durham with the Durham Herald-Sun, News & Observer, IndyWeek, Durham Magazine and Rev-elution.
Things have changed in Durham since the beginning of the VOICE. Northeast Central Durham is massively gentrified with housing outside the price range of the people who once lived there. Now, Students cover stories beyond the boundaries of Northeast Central Durham. There are stories about what it meant to live in Durham before the impact of urban renewal. There are stories about what Durham is becoming and how residents respond to changes. There are stories regarding how the politics influences those changes
The Voice is entirely digital – another change since the VOICE started publishing. During the Fall 2023 semester, students are redesigning the site. A group of graduate students write about education in Durham. Expect stories about unsung heroes and young people who inspire older people to embrace the future.
Our students are learning and reimagining how we think and write about this rapidly changing world.
With all the changes, some things haven’t changed. The VOICE is still relentlessly local.
This is the Voice of the Bull City.