MOUNT VERNON -- Jay Allred, Knox Pages president and publisher, will deliver a fast-paced virtual presentation about the state of local news in America and here at home to the Knox County Chamber of Commerce on April 14 at 9 a.m.
The event is free to the public. Registration is open at the Knox County Chamber web site.
Allred, current board chair of LION Publishers, will walk through the core problems in local news today, how they affect our communities, and what is being done to re-imagine independent, trustworthy local journalism in the 21st century.
"For many years now, the business of local journalism - particularly at newspapers - has been a train wreck," Allred said.
"What's inspiring is that the business model is reinventing itself before our eyes. Entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and individuals across the country, in Ohio, and in Mount Vernon are innovating like crazy to reimagine a new future for local news.
"They are rooting their work in deep and meaningful connections to the communities they serve and delivering surprising results."
Report for America
An example Allred cited was the recent selection of Knox Pages and its sister website, Ashland Source, as a host newsroom for Report for America.
"By June, Knox County will have a new reporter who will join our small staff to deliver more and deeper coverage of the news that affects Knox County residents. That's exciting and it says a lot about the quality of our community," he said.
Norman Parish, recruitment director for Report for America, said Report for America provides a unique opportunity for journalists to sink their teeth into local, issue-oriented reporting missing from many newsrooms today.
“Beyond talented reporters and photojournalists, we are looking for individuals who see journalism as a public service and want to make a difference within their communities," Parish said.
Knox Pages recently hosted a two part series of community conversations about local journalism in partnership with the Kenyon Office for Community Partnerships. Readers and residents came together with local newsmakers to talk about what happens when a town loses their newspaper and what can happen next.
Allred is the president of Source Media Properties, which includes three local news sites, a full service digital marketing agency, and an artificial intelligence startup. Together, these organizations reach nearly a half million users a month across four counties in north central Ohio.
The Source newsroom has become known for its tightly focused local coverage, entrepreneurial culture, and national leadership in the practice of Solutions Journalism.
Allred is deeply involved in the civic life of his adopted hometown of Mansfield. He has a wonderful wife, two grown daughters, and a couple of mutt dogs.