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Flint, MI — You don’t find Flint Beat’s style of journalism very often. Our small yet mighty news outlet dives deep into the sights, sounds and stories that affect Flint residents’ lives.
Flint Beat was founded by publisher Jiquanda Johnson. She’s a longtime Flint resident — a true Flint girl through and through.
“I started Flint Beat because I noticed there was minimal reporting about the real city I grew up in. In other local coverage, I was seeing the same old topics — crime, water and sports. Being a proud North Flint girl, I knew there was more happening. I’ve been around, and I’ve seen the community change.”
At Flint Beat, we go beyond surface-level news, investing in journalism that impacts residents and explores solutions to citywide issues — without minimizing our city’s challenges, from education funding to gun violence. Flint Beat reporters take time to investigate and care to hear from city residents, like in Amy Diaz’s series examining how the city is trying to combat violent crime.
Diaz’s work was highlighted by the nationally-recognized Solutions Journalism Network podcast, who interviewed her about her article, “Will the Special Investigative Unit decrease gun violence in Flint?”
We also make sure to spotlight Flint’s triumphs and personal stories of our residents — from sharing memories and stories of the late Flint mural artist Ryon Gonzalez, to our Emmy-winning video shot by Jamal Bransford and produced by Johnson. The short documentary, “Every Day is Different,” follows a day in the life of a Flint mother and her four children during the peak of the pandemic.
Beyond reporting the news, Flint Beat is a platform for the Flint community to be heard. Flint residents are not voiceless. You have a voice — and Flint Beat is here to make your voices heard. Since launching in 2017, we have stayed true to our mission: focusing on good, fair and honest reporting; representing all nine wards; and fighting for those who need it most.
Last year, as Flint Beat was growing, it dawned on Johnson that she had been able to accomplish something rare: founding a media company in an industry dominated by white men.
“I’ve been on panels where white men tell me I won’t succeed,” Johnson said.
As a minority publisher, Johnson says it’s been challenging to find adequate funding – but with her determination as a startup founder, deep knowledge of Flint and commitment to service journalism, her site has become a vital community resource.
“I’ve seen the community change — the good, bad and ugly,” Johnson said. “It’s a part of me, and I want to do right by Flint. And not in an unethical way… in a really impactful way. And leave a legacy. That’s important to me.”
You can support our reporters and their critical work for our community by signing up for the Flint Beat newsletter. It comes at no cost to you — and it has all the stories, videos and photos that best represent the city you know and love.
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