I'm proud to announce that with the support of the @tinynewsco, @LIONPubs, @NewsCatalyst, & @GoogleNewsInit, I'll be spearheading the growth and development of the Harvey World Herald, a local news organization in Harvey, IL. 🧵 /
The local paper went under nearly 40 years ago.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Harvey will have local news.

And *this* 24-year-old Black woman will be at the helm of that operation. 2/
Formerly a booming manufacturing town, massive de-industrialization of the late 1960s & early 1970s swept jobs from the community. Once home to Buda Engine Company, the city’s outlook for the 20th century was fairly positive. But that's changed dramatically in the time since. 3/
According to the 1967 federally funded report “Harvey, Illinois: Population and Economics,” Harvey’s population growth rate was higher than that of nearby Chicago’s.

There are now fewer residents in Harvey than there were in 1960, according to recent Census figures. 4/
The city is known for many things: Stray dogs. Pot holes. Garbage that doesn't get picked up by the city. High property taxes. Unemployment. Rampant crime. Abandoned homes. Vacant lots.

Residents have long complained about these conditions. 5/

Political corruption is probably what Harvey is most known for. Two years ago, federal agents raided City Hall and the police department — on the same day. 6/

The police department has had 4 different police chiefs over the past 2 years.

In the city with the highest violent crime rate in the south suburbs, according to FBI data, city officials are racing to bring down surging crime. 7/

The community lacks a grocery store, health department, and housing authority. Dis- and misinformation run rampant here.

And during a global pandemic and looming eviction crisis, residents need accurate information from an independent resource, now more than ever. 8/
@SouthSideWeekly recently reported that the city was 1 of 32 communities identified by Cook County officials as the most vulnerable to COVID-19. 9/

And a recent @WBEZ analysis on vaccination disparities in the Chicagoland area noted that only 70 people showed up to a pop-up vaccination at Thornton Township, the city's only high school. 10/

There's *too* much mess to fit in a thread, but I always contend that for every news desert in America, there's an opportunity to build a new institution from the ground up.

Our name is in reference to "Harvey World," the nickname young people gave the city some years back. 11/
The Harvey World Herald will be an inclusive newsroom that centers the voices of those most marginalized.

And we'll benefit from our proximity to what is arguably the most innovative, collaborative media market in America: the City of Chicago.

theguardian.com/media/2021/jun… 12/
That isn't to say that the Chicago media market, as with any other, is without problems.

But it *is* to say that the Harvey World Herald is uniquely positioned to learn from and grow with other news outlets, our partners in public service. 13/
I look forward to working with other Tiny News Collective founders to chart a collective vision, re-imagine journalism, and #buildthenews!


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