Two key missions for journalists are to serve the community they cover and be a part of the community.
That means attending the meetings almost no one attends. Asking questions almost no one thinks to ask, and reporting news almost no one even knows is happening.
At New Pelican, they are renewing their commitment to the communities of Broward County.
Michael d’Oliveira bought the paper in June and now serves as the publisher and editor-in-chief.
“It’s been a challenge,” he said. “I knew the journalist side, but learning the business side has been challenging.”
Journalism is expensive and requires not only money, but passion. Covering smaller cities like Oakland Park or Wilton Manors requires resources that most big outlets won’t spend and money smaller papers don’t have.
D’Oliveira isn’t shirking from the challenge, he’s embracing it head-on.
“We’re hoping to expand, make the paper bigger. More stories from more cities.”
Hyper-local coverage means keeping track of what’s happening in city halls across the county.
“We do a lot of commission stuff,” he said.
That’s where politicians can slip things into bills and ordinances when very few, if anyone, is watching. D’Oliveira’s strategy is to head them off at the pass.
“I’d love to cover the advisory committees. That’s a way to let people know what is happening before it gets to the commission, which is often too late,” he said.
D’Oliveira is a former reporter for SFGN and editor of the Wilton Manors Gazette, and knows the importance of hyper-local journalism, especially in major metropolitan areas. He had already been editor of New Pelican, so readers are already used to his style.
Many may view taking control of a newspaper, and journalism in general, as a thankless job, but he says it’s just the opposite.
“It’s not totally thankless. I get people all the time expressing their appreciation for the paper.”