Welcome back to Baltimore Beat.
In the first Letter from the Editor in Baltimore Beat back in 2017, editor in chief Lisa Snowden-McCray asked you, the readers, to keep us accountable.
In the time since Baltimore Beat’s closure—one year ago today—we have been doing a lot of thinking, talking, and planning. We often found ourselves circling back to a few core values that guide our journalism and decision-making. They are more specific than the general journalistic bromides about truth, fairness, and so on—and we take that seriously too, we just think it’s kind of obvious. We thought we would share them with you as an introduction to Baltimore Beat 2.0:
We hold the powerful accountable, provide viewpoints most media misses or does not take seriously, and are accountable to the folks most affected by change in Baltimore.
Race in Baltimore
In majority-black Baltimore it is journalistic malpractice to ignore the way race has shaped the city. We don’t shy away from frank discussions of race, nor do we indulge in “both sides”-ism or hedged, deceptive language such as “racially-charged.”
Public Safety Matters
We believe public safety is key to understanding serious change in Baltimore and we define public safety more broadly than most. Neighborhood crime concerns, demands for police reform, outrage over a rising homicide rate, considering violence as a public health issue are all part of the public safety conversation. Any conversation that begins and ends with locking more people up or indulges scaremongering is not about public safety. The question we are always asking ourselves is “whose safety?”
Baltimore’s Burgeoning Food Scene
We celebrate the full range of places to eat around Baltimore. We highlight the diversity of young, tenacious chefs working in Baltimore and we seriously consider the hard work of the servers, cooks, bartenders, and others who keep restaurants going and are often left out of reviews and profiles.
Baltimore’s Storied Arts Scene
We cover the arts as passionately as we cover the news, believe art is always political, and seek to serve the arts scene as a whole. We want to especially focus on theatre, film, and literature—scenes suffering the most from a dearth of coverage—and will bring a serious, critical, ear back to music writing.
The Full Spectrum of Sex and Gender
We facilitate frank, informative, and open-minded discussions about sex, sexuality, and gender with an inclusive, sex positive, perspective. LGBTQ+ issues must be considered when we’re writing any story, not just stories about the queer community. Queer and Trans rights are human rights. We have a profound sympathy for victims of sexual assault.
The Environment and Global Warming
We take climate change seriously and consider local issues tied to pollution, waste disposal, and flooding to be among the most under-reported issues of the political moment.
The Underground Economy
We value the most vulnerable and will continue thoughtful, informed coverage of sex work and the opioid crisis, along with reporting on cannabis’ slow crawl towards legalization and an acknowledgement of those it leaves behind—and all other victims of the drug war.
We are thrilled to continue reporting (and feel free refresh yourself by reading some of our past work).
We hope to see you next week at Ida B’s Table (235 Holliday St.) from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., for a celebration to mark our return. It’s the first of many events we are planning to really interact with the city of Baltimore as much as we can.
Thanks for the support you have already shown us, especially our Patreon subscribers. We are excited to roll out more and more reporting for you all as we grow.
-Lisa Snowden-McCray & Brandon Soderberg