Bushwick Daily has emerged on the other side of the pandemic with two new full-time hires, editor in chief Nicole Allen Viana and associate publisher Jackson Schroeder. The new hires were made possible by a new partnership with startup company Indiegraf.
“I am excited to welcome Nicole and Jackson to the team,” said Alec Meeker, publisher and owner of Bushwick Daily. “They bring talent, ideas and commitment to independent local journalism.”
These new hires support Bushwick Daily’s mission of elevating the voices and stories that have been traditionally silenced and suppressed.
Viana is a bilingual (Spanish and English) copy editor, writer and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She brings years of experience to the team, including time spent as an immigration legal services coordinator and copy editor for the San Francisco Bar Association’s Justice and Diversity Center and as a copy editor for the American Thoracic Society.
“I’m incredibly excited and honored to be joining the Bushwick Daily team,” said Viana. “As editor in chief, I hope to continue our coverage of arts and culture in the area and use my Colombian background — as well as my experience in immigration legal aid — to bring an increased focus to the issues facing Bushwick’s Latin community.”
According to internal Indiegraf research, New York City is one of the most local news poor regions in the United States per capita. Despite being home to some of the largest media brands in the world, many communities — especially Latinx and Black neighborhoods — are severely underserved by local media. People who live in communities without access to quality local news are less likely to vote, run for office or even trust their neighbors.
Schroeder is a seasoned writer and editor with a journalism degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Schroeder spent years as a content manager for The University Network and as a beat reporter for WOUB and ESPN Coastal. Before joining the team full time, Schroeder served as a Bushwick Daily contributor. He also has bylines in Brooklyn Magazine and the Park Slope Reader, among other local publications.
Bushwick Daily is also bringing on two interns for the summer: social media marketing intern Isabel Beer and journalism intern Paige Cromley. Beer is a graduate student studying journalism at New York University, and Cromley is an undergraduate student studying astrophysics at Princeton University and a regular contributor to the Daily Princetonian.
Bushwick Daily is the first investment Indiegraf has made in an American publisher via its new program Indie Capital. The initiative provides grants and flexible financing to promising independent news outlets to help fund their growth.
“Bushwick Daily has a decade-long history of success. With extra resources from Indiegraf, we aim not only to sustainably grow Bushwick Daily, but replicate its model in other areas experiencing local news poverty,” said Erin Millar, CEO of Indiegraf.
In addition to the Indie Capital investment, which has helped bring on the new hires, Indiegraf is advising and providing resources to assist in marketing and technology support.
“The technical expertise that Indiegraf is bringing to the table is allowing us to experiment with new incentives for bringing in new paid supporters,” said Meeker. “As far as I know, Bushwick Daily is the first publication to introduce aesthetic changes to incentivize account creation. We have a beautiful dark mode feature, which cannot be accessed unless users create an account and are logged in.”
As the first step in the partnership, Bushwick Daily is launching its new subscriber benefits program. Supporters who sign up this month will gain access to a new website with members-only features such as “dark mode,” the ability to comment on stories and an improved Support Us page.
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