Coverage of environmental issues has changed a lot since we launched three years ago. There’s more of it, which is great. News outlets are finally showing how these topics intersect with others like healthcare and the economy, which is even better. But most still don’t prioritize reaching the people actually facing environmental injustices like disasters, pollution, and failing infrastructure.
Southerly has become a trusted source of information that provides thoughtful insight and context to stories about climate change, pollution, and more. But to have a substantial and meaningful impact in the communities we serve—to equip people with the resources they need to be healthier and safer, hold power to account, and have agency over their future—we must do more than tell beautiful, representative stories.
Thats why we’ve made some changes to how we work. In 2022, we’re digging deep on three main topics (find out what they are here!) and working with community partners on information access projects. These choices, as well as the changes we’re making to our structure, publishing schedule, and vision, are based on more than a year of listening sessions, feedback on stories, learnings from other outlets and information sources, and surveys of our readers, staff, and board.
We have a brand new website showcasing all of this and more. Take a look around to revisit our journalism and see how we plan to have a more meaningful impact in the communities we cover.
I’m excited to continue this journey with y’all.
Lyndsey Gilpin, founder and executive editor
A new website, new projects around information access, and a renewed focus on three topics.
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NEWS FLYING UNDER THE RADAR
More legal fights over the Mountain Valley Pipeline
Since 2017, there have been at least 56 civil actions brought in state and federal courts in Virginia—three of those filed in the past month. The energy companies building the pipeline say it’s nearly complete, but it hinges on the outcome of these lawsuits. Read in The Roanoke Times.
Crypto mining continues to grow in the South
Last month, we wrote about a community that stopped a crypto mine from being built next to an elementary school in North Carolina, and the industry’s expansion in the rural South. This month, crypto mining is in the news again: A power plant that buys coal from Sen. Joe Manchin’s family business wanted to stay afloat by powering a crypto mine. West Virginia regulators rejected the proposal. Read about it in E&E News. The industry is also expanding wildly in Kentucky, raising concerns about energy consumption.
Tornado survivors have a long road ahead
A month after a huge tornado hit western Kentucky, FEMA says representatives are on the ground and still available to help residents access relief money, according to WDRB. Many of the areas hit by the tornado were also hit by flash flooding just a few weeks later, as well.
Devastating flooding in Tennessee
In August, 17 inches of rainfall fell in Waverly, Tenn. over 24 hours, causing major flooding that killed near two dozen people. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers is doing a study to assess why the creek floods so badly. The Tennessean recently examined how the disaster unfolded, and compiled the stories they’ve written in the months since.
When you donate to Southerly, you help us respond to urgent information needs, tell beautiful, representative stories, and do deep offline and online community engagement to build trust in the places where media has broken it.