Pine Bluff’s new Delta Informer upholds African American press tradition

Pine Bluff’s new Delta Informer upholds African American press tradition

A new voice is coming to the Delta. A group of Pine Bluff community activists, led by local entrepreneur Michael McCray, launched the online news site Arkansas Delta Informer May 14. The Delta Informer is Pine Bluff’s first Black-owned, independent news source and was conceived with the goal to diversify the reporting and storytelling representing Southeast Arkansas. 

“In the Delta, there’s a lot of history. There’s a lot of heritage, there’s a lot of culture, and we just weren’t seeing all of that reflected in the local, and sometimes regional news sources, and so what we want to do is be a celebration of all things Arkansas Delta, so that we can balance the scales when people look at our area, our community,” McCray said. 

Community leader and entrepreneur Michael McCray helped found the Arkansas Delta Informer.

McCray and the founders of the Delta Informer noticed what they called a glut of bad news about their community, and decided to bring more comprehensive reporting to the area. McCray says he hopes providing nuanced, solutions-based perspectives can shift the mindset of the community and shape more positive perceptions of the Delta region.

The Delta Informer’s bread and butter is history and heritage stories, told from a perspective not often heard. From blues artists to civil rights history, McCray aims to play up the wealth of Arkansas Delta culture, which he believes has thus far been under-covered. 

“There are a number of heroes in our community, living and deceased, that people don’t really recognize, they don’t get the accolades and attention that they really deserve. And so we’re going to talk about all of that. Talk about all these people and all these wonderful things and the impact that people from Southeast Arkansas have,” McCray said.

McCray also noted the Delta Informer fits the tradition of other African-American newspapers. Founders saw a need for content pertinent to the Black community, and wanted to give voice to a more diverse set of issues than currently exists in local print media. The Delta Informer intends to honor the legacy of advocacy journalism from publications like the Chicago Defender and the Arkansas State Press published by L.C. and Daisy Bates. 

McCray, who is CEO of the Delta Informer, partnered with Arkansas news veteran Wesley Brown, the Informer’s publisher and executive editor. 

Veteran newsman Wesley Brown is publisher and executive editor of the Arkansas Delta Informer.

“I love news, and I love the energy that Michael and his team are bringing to this venture,” Brown said in a press release.  “They came to me with a real problem of not seeing themselves and other minorities in the local newspaper in a good light or favorably. And that is the issue we hope to address with our news coverage in the Pine Bluff area and the Arkansas Delta.”

McCray and Brown will be recruiting a full-time editor, a reporter and freelancers. They hope to be a true community paper for Southeast Arkansas. 

The post Pine Bluff’s new Delta Informer upholds African American press tradition appeared first on Arkansas Times.

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