I started my stay here as a rural reporting researcher for the Daily Yonder six months ago. I heard about the scholarship from Omotayo Jolasho, a cultural anthropologist at the University of South Florida. She was one of the many mentors I turned to to help me refine my intentions for my career. After a few years of applying my journalist training to how to sink or swim as I drove up and down the neighborhoods of Flint, Michigan, I knew I wanted to do more dimensional work – work that got the words out of the page with the sounds. voices of people and illuminate them with images.
With seasons of unanswered applications, I told myself that “traditional newsrooms” had little room for me or that I had perhaps cataloged myself by working hyper-local. Disillusioned, I quit my post as editor and took on social media management roles. But I still wanted to shoot, so I did. I always wanted to write, so I did. I was always interested in farming and rural areas, so I contacted a lone black farmer in the middle of the Dutch country of Michigan to see if I could begin to document his journey in farming.
“You have work to do. Do it anyway. You don’t need permission, Jolasho told me. A little later, she sent me a link to a scholarship application from an organization whose media work spoke of my determination.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting a response and when I did I wasn’t really looking to impress. I said I would do this job whether people call me a journalist or not, with or without the scholarship. I would do this job because it was important.
This way the Daily Yonder and I have similar code.
The Daily Yonder counts to me for the unabashed intentionality of what it does and who it serves. As I continue to work here and learn from my team, it’s refreshing to see that we’re not trying to be like the others. This is important in an industry that often rewards doing so much of the same.
Thank you for allowing the organization to grow and in turn for making me grow as a multimedia producer. I hope you will contribute to our continued success.
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From November 1 to December 31, 2021, your donations can be matched. Through the NewsMatch program, individual contributions can be matched up to $ 1,000 per person for a combined total of at least $ 13,000. The Daily Yonder received additional matching funds, including $ 5,000 from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, $ 20,000 from the Loud Hound Partner Fund and $ 10,000 through a donor’s challenge from Dee Davis and Mimi Pickering, in l honor of Helen and Joe Pickering. These extra matching funds stack or work simultaneously with NewsMatch, which means every dollar you donate goes further, having two, three or four times its usual impact. The Daily Yonder is a project of the Center for Rural Strategies, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Gifts may be tax deductible; consult your tax advisor for more information.