Journalism is storytelling, and storytelling is often a group effort. Yes, the journalist goes out and gathers information and produces the final piece of work. But they can’t do that without witnesses, experts, community members, and other voices. They can’t do it without you. And while we journalists go to school for training, the people we talk to can sometimes be thrown into the storytelling process without much of a heads up about what it means to talk to a journalist, how much control they will have over the final piece of journalism, or what they can refuse.

The people at MLK50: Justice Through Journalism want to change that. MLK50 is a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis, Tennessee, focused on poverty, power, and policy. MLK50 practices ethical journalism and is committed to helping people get free. They have assembled a guide that details things you should know before you say one word to a journalist, and they have given us permission to reprint it in Baltimore Beat. Please give it a read.

Also in this issue, Arts and Culture Editor Teri Henderson reviews What Happens When We Nurture, a group exhibition currently on view at Black Artist Research Space. 

“What happens when individuals from marginalized communities collaborate, build, and create autonomous structures to uplift and restore folks who look like them?” Henderson asks. “The co-founders of I&P have provided a vehicle for exploring the idea of art as a vehicle for communication and liberation. The results can move worlds when artists are given the space, time, and resources to create.”

How is State’s Attorney Ivan Bates doing? Baltimore Courtwatch examines six months of data.

“Overall, in the first six months of 2023, Bates’ office asked for the most restrictive condition of ‘held without bond’ (HWOB) 79.6 percent of the time. This is still the overwhelming majority, though less than 85.1 percent under Mosby during the compared time. The Bates administration also requested electronic home monitoring in 10.2 percent of hearings, slightly higher than Mosby’s 8.9 percent,” they write.

On our Photostory page, you’ll find images from New York-based photographer Jeremy Collins, shot at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Artist in Residence Renaissance Ball. The event marked the conclusion of Baltimore photographer SHAN Wallace’s tenure as the library’s inaugural artist-in-residence. 

It’s officially Leo season, and Iya Osundara has tarotscope messages to help prepare us for a fiery hot August. Film critic Dominic Griffin does a deep dive into the new Jamie Foxx film ‘They Cloned Tyrone.’ As always, we leave you with a poem from a Baltimore young person. This time it’s “Reality TV Love,” written by Kayla Lemessy.

August 10 will mark one year since our relaunch, and it’s been a journey. In this year, I’ve seen Baltimore Beat evolve into a community project. I’ve seen people eager to fund and fill our Beat Boxes and offer our small team help. I am so grateful to Teri Henderson, Schaun Champion, and Cameron Snell for being patient with me as a leader and also for constantly bringing their best work to the table.

I’m also grateful to those who work behind the scenes to help keep this news outlet going: our CFO Jonathan Keen, and Jocelyn Dombroski, who gives up her weekends every other week to help with copy editing and laying out the paper. I’d also like to thank our delivery team, headed up by Eze Jackson. They are Porsha Crafton, Andrew Gray, Leo Gray, Latoya Moore, Michael Morstein, and Olufunmike Woods. They make sure the paper makes it to local stores and Beat Boxes all over the city every other week.

We are taking a short break and will be back on August 23 with Issue 24. Thank you so much for reading!

Lisa Snowden is Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of Baltimore Beat. Previously, she was an editor at Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore Sun, and The Real News Network. Her work has also appeared in Essence,...