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What We Print
There are so many things we could share about why we hope what we publish here is different. One of those things, though, is making sure things are ACCESSIBLE (which will be a growth space, we know). So we’re keeping this simple. This will serve as our guidelines, and those we use to determine what we’ll print from others- THINK before you speak:
Is is True? Too often, conversations about people’s real, lived experiences come down to false questions of opinion. When publications explicitly focus on lifting up voices that have been historically marginalized, we’re often accused of bias. Bias is unavoidable. It is human to filter what we see, hear, and do through our lived experiences. Still, we can interrogate our own biases, be transparent about them, and root any FACTUAL statements we make in sourced, logical arguments. We commit to that. It is critical.
Is it Helpful? Does it give people information that they need to make good decisions, advocate for themselves and others, become more engaged? Information itself is critical, and so is the analysis and explanation to make it usable. We commit to sharing relevant, timely facts and analysis to help you make sense of what is happening in our community and what you can do to get involved.
Is it Inspiring? Does the information we provide here build your own sense of what’s possible? Does it make you feel connected to others? Does it make you feel depressed, hopeless, and angry? Or does it, while never ignoring the hard truths, provide pathways to a better Worcester? We are committed to finding ways to speak truth to power in ways that make you feel more possibility.
Is it Necessary? While being transparent about bias is important, so is being transparent about framing- or how we even decide what is newsworthy. Too often, stories about powerful, positive work in our community are dismissed because they are not news. This is not a site for breaking news- you will rarely find information about car accidents, robberies, house fires. You will find analysis of decisions that are or will impact your life, events that you can get involved with, small businesses you can support, and critical context about the biggest conversations in the city’s news cycle. If it will help you be a more informed, engaged, connected community member, it is necessary.
Is it Kind? Some may take issue with this, so it’s important to explain what we mean. Kind does not mean tone policing people who are speaking truth to power. It does not mean censoring people’s righteous anger. It does mean questioning whether we are lifting up the humanity we want to see in others. It does mean strictly enforcing that what we publish here does not punch down and say harmful and hurtful things about people for no reason. Asking for accountability is not unkind. Using strong language or dismissing/decentering the feelings of those who have power to make change is not unkind. Swearing is not unkind. It is important to say this because too often, a focus on enforcing polite conversation takes precedence over having a truthful conversation. Kindness is not about glossing over hard truths, it is about recognizing that we are all in community with one another, and should attempt to invite human growth when possible. Power always matters, and will always be taken into account when deciding how to enact this principle. It also means that we do not print sexist, racist, fatphobic, ableist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes or comments.