Raleigh Convergence will stop publishing April 1, 2022. Read more.

Final thoughts from the founder as Raleigh Convergence ceases publication

IMPORTANT NOTE: Raleigh Convergence is no longer publishing, as of April 1, 2022. Read more.

I started Raleigh Convergence three years ago because I was tired of waiting for the future I envisioned.

Here’s what I mean: I got a lot of “no”s when I pitched what I then called “my crazy idea” for a modern local media company.

So, I stopped asking. I used savings for platform costs, insurance and a refurbished Macbook. I left my job and took the leap. I started.

If you’ve subscribed to the newsletter for a while, you’ve probably heard my story: I’d worked in legacy newsrooms across the country, first as a reporter, then a social media editor, a magazine editor and an audience/digital editor. I had great bosses who helped me grow and gave me room to experiment.

But I kept coming back to starting something from scratch as a means to build local news for the future, not in the containers or formats of the past. This was my dream, and in so many ways, especially in community impact, it was successful. 

As I said in the announcement with details of this change, so much of that is credit to the great people who created, supported and believed with me.

That includes a lot of community members, but I’ve rarely taken the time to thank my partner publicly. My husband is a true partner who has supported me in so many ways through this entire journey. Give Russ Wiskirchen a pat on the back or a high five if you see him, because he is a wonderful partner and co-parent, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without him.

But after three years, it’s clear that this isn’t operationally or financially the path to sustainable local news. Today is the last day Raleigh Convergence will publish, at least in this iteration. 

I have no regrets, as I told Eric Frederick of the NC Local newsletter, published by Elon University’s NC Local News Workshop.

I’m proud to share some of the stories and notable moments from Raleigh Convergence’s three years in closing. [highlights + timeline]

So what’s next? I’d love to see Converging Stories, our live storytelling series, live on with a different organization. Separately (or maybe together), I’d like to see more community-powered journalism experiments happening here. 

I’m sharing these thoughts and ideas out loud because the Convergence in the name has always meant convening of community, people coming together. You are my community, my collaborators, and I’m not planning to go anywhere. 

To stay in touch: You’ll continue to find me at [email protected] for the foreseeable future if you’d like to get in touch. 

You can also stay subscribed to this newsletter and I’ll send an update if there are relevant future moves for me professionally. 

While a lot is unknown, here’s what I do know: I want to be in the tough work of figuring out a sustainable future for journalism. Just as writing for oneself is journaling, not journalism, I don’t mean propping up systems that no longer serve us. I mean creating better, more engaging journalism and news products for the people we as journalists serve.

I want to help build better, more reflective communities using journalism as a tool. 

I want to create journalism with empathy, created for understanding and for action. 

I want people to know and access their power to create the communities they want, from introductions to local businesses that create unique local culture to demystifying civic processes.

It’s a long game, but the fact that you’re reading this now tells me that this future of journalism and community is possible — and that starting Raleigh Convergence was a step toward that future vision.

It’s with personal and professional gratitude that I want to thank you. Thank you for the privilege of showing up in your inbox and for the honor of your time and attention to this work. Now, onward to the future.

–Sarah Day

PS: Over the past few days, I’ve experienced an outpouring of emails, texts and messages of support. It’s more than I expected, and I’ll be spending the next few weeks responding. I appreciate every note I’ve received. Thank you.

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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