Welcome to The Apopka Voice's new website. Take some time and look around. We think it's a cleaner, more topical site which makes it easier for readers to navigate to the stories and sections that are most important to them.
However, in the coming days and weeks, more changes will be arriving at The Apopka Voice that goes beyond design, and navigation. It is our intention to transition the news site into a style of journalism that not only reports but also acts, engages and makes a difference in the community.
It's called solution-based journalism.
The mission of The Apopka Voice will be to rebalance the news so that readers are exposed to stories that help them understand problems and challenges, but also show potential ways to respond. Most people would agree that mainstream news outlets often provide a dismal view of the world. They come away feeling powerless, apathetic, and resentful.
And when a news product makes people want to tune out and disengage, it doesn’t bode well for the news business — or for democracy. We believe that journalism can do better.
The Apopka Voice will strive to provide a view of Apopka that’s faithful to reality. It will inspire engagement with audiences and be a catalyst for action in the community.
Solution-based journalism heightens accountability by reporting on where and how people are doing better against a problem. It removes excuses and sets a bar for what citizens should expect from institutions or governments. It offers a more comprehensive and representative view of the world, and it circulates timely knowledge to help society self-correct by pointing out responses that people and communities can learn from.
The editors, staff, and reporters of The Apopka Voice will bring the same attention and rigor to stories about responses to problems as they do to the problems themselves. And in doing so, we believe we can elevate the public discourse, spur citizen participation, and reduce polarization. It can strengthen democracy, and when added to the mix, can improve the overall quality and impact of the stories we report on.
Journalists have been described as spotlights - but we want to go further. We want to direct that light on something else - a way to solve the issues we report on. Without that other side, we’re caught in an endless feedback of 'things are terrible, and there's nothing an individual can do about it'.
But please don't misunderstand. This type of reporting isn’t soft. It’s not feel-good news that's afraid to take on issues. On the other hand, it isn't "attack-pieces" or "gotcha' journalism". Breaking news, investigative reporting, political coverage, and all the fundamental building blocks of a modern news site are still at the core of what The Apopka Voice will do. However, we will go the extra step and provide a means to involve readers with ways to take action and help their community as well.
The Apopka Voice's goal is to be the first draft of local news, but more importantly to inform, inspire, and engage its readers to make a difference in Apopka. Enjoy the new website design, and let us know what you think. We are ready to engage with you Apopka.