Baltimore Beat, the alternative news organization that ceased publishing in 2018, announced plans to return on March 6, one year to the day that the paper was closed.
Since the closure, Beat co-founder Brandon Soderberg, former editor of the Baltimore City Paper, worked to gain ownership, and editor-in-chief Lisa Snowden-McCray, former member of the Baltimore Sun’s editorial board, has been working to re-imagine it, according to an announcement. The online content will be available for free, while a Patreon request for a $5 monthly donation offers subscribers a weekly media-focused newsletter featuring media criticism, reporting resource guides, how-to pieces by journalists, and an early heads-up warning on upcoming events and other special projects from the Beat.
“Baltimore Beat will pick-up where it left off last year except it will be online only, for the time being at least,” Soderberg and Snowden-McCray posted. “Print remains a part of our mission and we’ll have occasional one-off print projects (and ‘IRL’ events), but we’re moving slower this time to make sure the Beat is sustainable and can stick around.
“Why do all this? Because Baltimore needs more journalism. Research shows that corruption flourishes when citizens don’t know what’s going on,” they posted.
“We keep people accountable. We also expose folks to new things. There is a dearth of information about and criticism of the arts and food in the city. These scenes continue to thrive but lack the persistent and thoughtful media coverage they deserve because there are less and less outlets in Baltimore and the ones that exist can only cover so much.”
According to the announcement, money raised through Patreon will pay for freelancers, the editor-in-chief and part-time pay for co-founder Soderberg: “It would also begin chipping away at the administrative-related fees Lisa and Brandon accrued over the past eight months or so of working to bring Baltimore Beat back: money that goes towards the domain and server space, money we owe a lawyer for their assistance, and related dues and expenses. We have not only been working for free on this for the past year but putting our own money into it because we deeply care about media in this city.”