Advertisement
Advertisement

The Hartford Courant is seeking new, diverse voices to help shape opinion journalism in Connecticut. Here’s what you can do.

The Hartford Courant is seeking new, diverse voices to help shape opinion journalism in Connecticut. Here’s what you can do.
The Hartford Courant's opinion department is seeking new and diverse voices. (Megan Merrigan)

The strength of our state and our nation has long been in our diversity — diversity of thought, of experience, of worldview. From that diversity, we’ve seen imagination and invention grow.

But for too long, the public conversation has been dominated by too few. In Hartford, in Washington and across the nation, new voices are demanding to be heard. It is time to widen the circle.

Advertisement

To foster diversity and help facilitate that change, The Hartford Courant in 2019 will broaden the focus of its award-winning opinion franchise to engage the community in new ways, providing a forum for discussion and a platform for diverse voices to help drive the conversation forward. The institutional voice of the organization will still have an important role, but it is a new era and it’s time to hear new voices.

The Courant’s initiative will comprise four main threads:

⋅ Focusing on community inclusion and engagement as we consider and debate key issues.

⋅ Creating new opportunities for a broader mix of contributing writers and participants.

⋅ Building a robust in-person and social engagement plan to spark dialogue and debate.

⋅ Creating a more engaging and interactive user experience.

One of the first steps we will take is hiring a leader for this initiative. We are looking for a Senior Editor to lead the Opinion Department. With a laser focus on broadening community engagement, this leader will work to engage stakeholders on key issues and work to understand many perspectives to deepen the quality of our own critical thinking.

Other pieces of this plan will roll out in the coming weeks and months.

The mission of The Hartford Courant editorial board, for example, will be sharpened to focus more on working with the community to discover and explore answers to community problems. As we identify and tackle critical issues, The Courant will take steps to assure we are focusing our attention on the concerns that are the most meaningful to the community. Among the steps we plan to take is reinventing the mission of The Courant’s community editorial board, having that group meet on a more regular basis to engage in discussion and debate around issues in real time.

We will also seek to find new voices from across the community by building a more diverse group of op-ed contributors. We can no longer be content with allowing the same voices who have long dominated the public discourse to control the conversation. As part of this initiative, some contributors might write from time to time as events dictate, others on a more regular basis. Some may be interested in one topic; others may have a perspective to offer on an array of different subjects.

We will further transform the editorial model and give voice to thought leaders in every corner of the state by reaching out the community — in person and through digital and social channels. Rather than relying on those who come to us, we plan to meet people where they are.

We invite you to help us make this happen. In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out different facets of this plan both in print and on our website at courant.com/opinion. Please stay tuned for further developments. (The link to the application for the editor’s job can be found here: https://careers-tribpub.icims.com/jobs/2835/senior-content-editor-audience-engagement-and-opinion/job)

This is the perfect time for such an effort. We are at a critical moment in our nation’s history. We have come to a place in our national dialogue where talking is too often valued above listening, where invective often trumps reason. It is a dangerous place, for it is in understanding and appreciating the view of another that we can seek out and find common ground, where we can move forward. In seeing the world from another perspective, we can expand our own horizons.

Andrew Julien is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Hartford Courant.

Advertisement

If you are interested in becoming a contributor, please submit a short sample of your work along with a sentence or two describing yourself below:

Advertisement
Advertisement