A nationwide media experiment.
A freelancer’s crusade.
A new(s) publication.
Yeah, we have a lot of hats to wear.
See that map there? It’s key to our story.
The push to create Parachute in July of 2020 came straight out of what the yellow and red blocks imply: That fewer and fewer areas of the U.S. are being written about, photographed and chronicled. Since 2019, nearly 40,000 media workers have faced layoffs — mostly due to COVID-19 — and 2,200 print publications have quieted their presses or fired staff. As a result, huge gaps of coverage have popped up in their disappearance. Mostly in regions that have struggled to afford quality writing or investigative pieces for years.
Yeah, that sucks. But we can change it.
Here’s where we come in, and where we tinker with the age-old, all-to-negative concept of parachute journalism.
Instead of relying on coastal media establishments (backed by hedge funds or focused on agenda-driven journalism) to fly in veteran reporters to rehydrate story-deficient parts of the country (think West Texas or Southern Georgia), we at Parachute will do our part to revitalize them ourselves—from the county over, not the coast. And we’ll do that by enlisting nearby freelancers already hungry for work.
Moreover, all of the writing and photos we publish on our site will be syndicated pro bono in the pages of local newspapers, mostly those on their last leg, or don’t have a features budget. Think of our mission as a piecemeal approach: Obviously, we alone can’t rescue the whole burning building of print media. But we can at least contribute a hose.
WHY SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM?
At Parachute, we’re big fans of the Solutions Journalism Network, and its amazing Story Tracker catalogue. It’s our belief that stories told with a societal fix, rather than suffocated with doom and gloom, will contribute not only to a healthier view of reality. But will birth journalism that can better inform state legislators, vastly improve our mental health and remind readers of positive humanity through story.
And the best part? We are paying well for it.
Oh, hey there.
Based proudly in sunny Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.