by Tammy Joyner
Clayton Crescent Board of Trust
Late at night, the light shines out from the tiny office that houses The Clayton Crescent. That’s reporter Robin Kemp up late again, working for you. She works those long hours so you know what’s happening in Clayton County government and the city governments of Forest Park and Jonesboro.
Using what few dollars she had after being laid off and small donations from friends and family, Robin founded the first nonprofit news source in the county.
If you’ve looked around the website, you know the commitment she has made to get the information everyone in the county needs every day.
And she’s not been afraid to take on the elected public officials to make sure their decisions are open and transparent.
The Clayton Crescent was the only media organization to challenge elected officials in Forest Park, Ga. when they tried to use COVID-19 as an excuse to close city council meetings. The Clayton Crescent’s open meetings and open records battle with Forest Park drew the support of the University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic and The Georgia First Amendment Foundation. Now those public meetings are more transparent, and the city of Forest Park has committed to state-of-the-art video systems to allow the public to see even more of what’s happening.
The Clayton Crescent pointed out the COVID-19 outbreak at the Clayton County Jail and how basic safety protocols were being ignored.
In November, The Clayton Crescent was the only Georgia media outlet committed to carefully watch every moment of Clayton County’s 21-hour vote-count. Those final tallies ultimately helped cement Georgia’s historic shift from a red to a blue state.
The hyperlocal work of The Clayton Crescent has been affirmed by the Washington Post, the BBC, CNN, and other leading media outlets, each of which turned to the eight-month-old nonprofit publication around the election for insights.
As thousands of newspapers continue to shrink and close, the accountability journalism that The Clayton Crescent provides is more crucial than ever.
Local journalism is vital to upholding the foundation of American Democracy whether it’s in Washington, D.C. or Forest Park, GA. Without it, government ceases to be accountable to the people.
And as research from the Pew Foundation shows, communities without good accountability journalism see large tax hikes as government becomes less efficient and the cost of public borrowing jumps.
So, to keep The Clayton Crescent’s hyperlocal accountability journalism alive, please consider a donation. Big or small.
Help keep those late night lights shining from the Clayton Crescent office.