While COVID-19 has made 2021 a challenging year for us all, there have been bright spots here at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Most noteworthy is the launch of our Crossroads Lab in June, when we added significant local reporting firepower thanks to partnerships with several philanthropic organizations.
The Crossroads Lab is meant to fill critical gaps that have developed in local reporting as our industry has dealt with the disruption of the digital age. Print advertising revenues have plummeted over the last 15 years, while Google and Facebook dominate online advertising. The result has been deep cutbacks in local news.
The lab consists of five full-time reporters who cover issues related to education, social services, health and racial equity. The goal is to raise awareness and engagement about challenges and opportunities critical to the future of Fort Worth and Tarrant County while also promoting discussion of solutions. The name “Crossroads” springs from the idea that we face not a singular fork in the road as we face those challenges, but a series of crossroads.
The Crossroads Lab receives major funding from The Morris Foundation, the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. But not all expenses are covered, and we’d like to grow the lab in 2022. That’s where we need your help.
You can help support and expand this work by making a tax-deductible donation through our partner nonprofit foundation at star-telegram.com/donate. Any amount is appreciated, and I encourage you to leave a note when you make your donation.
Or, you can make your donation here:
You can also text CROSSROADS LAB to 202-858-1233 to make a gift via your mobile device.
If you’d like to mail a donation, make your check payable to Journalism Funding Partners, or JFP, and write Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the memo line. Include your email address so we can send an acknowledgment of your donation. Mail checks to: McClatchy, 1601 Alhambra Blvd., Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Crossroads Lab makes a difference in Fort Worth
Reporters in the Crossroads Lab have explored serious issues, such as a lack of investment in books in libraries in the Fort Worth school district and inequity in COVID vaccination rates among Black and Latino people in Tarrant County.
The lab also shines the spotlight on people and organizations that are making a difference, including those that help our most vulnerable populations.
The Crossroads Lab is making a difference in Fort Worth. Stories published by the Crossroads team have prompted people to donate money and supplies to worthy causes and have connected people with services to help improve their lives.
Many of you have supported local journalism at the Star-Telegram in the past with donations toward our two reporters hired through a partnership with the Report for America program, another way we have sought to fill gaps in uncovered or under-covered topics or communities.
Likewise, many have donated to help preserve local news coverage at the Star-Telegram during the pandemic, which caused further dips in advertising revenue.
I am grateful for your monetary donations, but also for your support of our work through your subscription and readership.