In addition to the long-form journalism Blade readers have come to know and love, please check out the round-ups of our live coverage for on-the-ground insights into what’s going on in our city.
City Hall under renovation. Photo by Bill Rhodes.
Hello readers, I hope this brief informational update finds you all well.
I wanted to let people know about our live coverage round-ups. As many longtime readers are aware, in addition to our long-form journalism, the Blade also does live coverage, frequently of local government meetings or forums.
Occasionally, we’ll round these up on Storify and add video and documents. The result is a multimedia look at some pretty key meetings that we might not incorporate into a larger long-form story until a good deal later (when we do live coverage that’s largely going to go into a news piece pretty shortly, it generally won’t get the round-up treatment).
While this has been around for awhile, it’s worth highlighting now because we’ve had some really key coverage on this front in the last few weeks — after a lull during the winter — events that the format is specifically well suited for.
For example, there was the Feb. 1 meeting of the Citizens Police Advisory Committee, which witnessed both an in-depth analysis of racial disparities in Asheville Police Department traffic stops (along with some proposed reforms) and serious controversy over an officer’s conduct, complete with calls for his firing. Tensions over policing in Asheville have a long, long history here, and in this case combining live coverage with links to videos, documents and previous Blade stories helps give the reader a much clearer picture.
The night before saw skepticism and anger emerge at a town hall for Southside residents regarding city proposals for the Walton Street pool. The Blade delved into the history of this conflict — and how it ties into much larger issues of power and segregation — in an in-depth piece published earlier that day. The live coverage round-up showed how that history played out on the round.
Then, last week Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Commissioners held their first joint session in over a year. De facto segregation came up there too, as did everything from criticisms of window regulations by a conservative commissioner to energy saving plans. The elected officials even talked at some length about their pets (no, really).
Going forward, we’ll have a more easily accessible button on our main site for this coverage (our indefatigable webmaster’s hard at work on some site improvements right now), but in the meantime I wanted to make sure our readers knew about this particular facet of the Blade‘s coverage. All of this, of course, is made possible by our readers’ donations and subscriptions, and any assistance on those fronts are always appreciated.