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PAPER TRAILS: Pine Bluff, Little Rock online news sites looking to offer expanded coverage

by Sean Clancy | May 22, 2022 at 2:00 a.m.

There are a couple of new online-based outlets covering news in Arkansas. One is already up and running, while the other plans to be in business by the end of the summer.

The Arkansas Delta Informer -- -- which went live May 14, is a Pine Bluff-based news website that will focus its reporting on Pine Bluff, southeast Arkansas and the Delta.

"Addressing the need to provide more relevant and nuanced content pertinent to the African American community, the online newsgroup will give voice to a more diverse issues than currently exists in local print media," according to a post at the site.

Pine Bluff native Michael McCray is the Informer's CEO. Veteran journalist Wesley Brown is its publisher and executive editor.

The Black-owned Informer will cover local government, education, agriculture and other topics, McCray says.

"What we have to do is tell our story, the whole story," he says. "Part of what we want to do is tell the parts of the story that aren't being told."

The site will operate on an advertiser-based model, McCray says, and content is free.

"We are looking for investors, we are looking for freelance writers and for editors. We are a small group now, but we are hoping to grow pretty fast."

In Little Rock, an outlet of the North Carolina-based nonprofit States Newsroom will set up shop to cover state government. Lawrence "Sonny" Albarado, former projects editor for the Democrat-Gazette, begins as editor-in-chief on June 1. He will oversee a staff of three reporters. The website should be online by August or September, he says.

States Newsroom started online news sites in states where coverage of state government had dwindled, says Albarado, who retired from the Democrat-Gazette in January, 2020. The group is now in more than 25 states.

"State government is important to democracy, and covering it is equally important," Albarado says. "It needs as many eyes and ears on it as can be provided."

Content will be free, and will also be available to smaller papers that can't afford wire services, he adds.

"From my perspective, that's the real benefit. The Democrat-Gazette does a great job covering the legislature ... but papers that don't have a way to provide readers with coverage of state government, they can use our stuff."


Print Headline: New news platforms in the news


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