We have exciting news: As Alan previewed back in February, we’ve spent the last 10 months working with GothamSchools, the award-winning education news site based in New York City, to form a national education news network. Now we can tell you the new name of that network.
Meet Chalkbeat. Here, you’ll know us as Chalkbeat Colorado, and GothamSchools will be known as Chalkbeat New York.
And that’s the other news. We’re also opening two new bureaus, one in Memphis, Tenn., and the other in Indianapolis. Those are Chalkbeat Tennessee and Chalkbeat Indiana.
Why are we going national? EdNews began with a belief in the power of excellent education reporting that lives in and holds itself accountable to a local community. And almost since we started, we’ve gotten requests to bring our models to other communities.
We took a giant step toward doing just that when we teamed up with GothamSchools. By sharing some of the core tasks it takes to run a sustainable news organization across multiple “bureaus,” we realized we could make our reporting better and ensure that it lives longer, too, even in a time when journalism can be an uncertain endeavor.
Seeking strength in numbers has allowed us to make our Denver team larger and stronger than ever. In the past few weeks, you may have noticed the byline of our newest reporter, Kate Schimel, and later this week we’ll be welcoming a fourth reporter, Nic Garcia, who was most recently the editor of Out Front. This year we’ve also added a community editor to improve the way we interact with the people and communities that we cover.
Becoming Chalkbeat brings us even more talented colleagues. Scott Elliott, the president of the Education Writers Association and until a few days ago the education reporter at the Indianapolis Star, will lead Chalkbeat Indiana. Daarel Burnette, who just left the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s all-star education team to create one of his own, will run Chalkbeat Tennessee. Their reporting starts today; you can start following along as they get started here and here.
USA Today got word of our news and ran a story about Chalkbeat today. Check it out for more about how we got here and where we’re going.
We saved some details for our faithful local readers, though, and you’ll learn more in the coming weeks. Here’s one hint: Our website will get a long-overdue facelift.
Until then, look out for interesting links from Memphis and Indianapolis here — and know that we could not and would not be doing this without you.