Lex Weaver, editor of The Scope, explains how to practice journalism as an act of service

Lex Weaver. Photo by Ruby Wallau via Northeastern University.

Lex Weaver is editor-in-chief of The Scope, published by Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. The Scope is a  digital magazine focused on telling stories of justice, hope and resilience in Greater Boston, with an emphasis on communities of color. Their mission: practicing journalism as an act of service. They work to amplify the voices of those overlooked by traditional media.

The current version of The Scope launched in the fall of 2017 and was based on a brilliant prototype created by then graduate students Emily Hopkins (now a data reporter at ProPublica), Priyanka Ketkar (now a multimedia editor at Lakes District News in British Columbia) and Brilee Weaver (now a social media manager for Northeastern’s external affairs office.) As our Northeastern colleague Meg Heckman, The Scope’s first adviser, reminded us the other day, it was initially called The Docket, but we changed the name for a couple of reasons: 1) We wanted to cover more than criminal justice; 2) people outside of Northeastern thought we were a project of the law school.

Thanks to a Poynter-Koch Fellowship, The Scope has a full-time editor-in-chief. Catherine McGloin was The Scope’s first full-time editor and our inaugural Poynter fellow. She started in the summer of 2019 and did a tremendous amount of work to build both content and audience — a feature called Changemakers, editor coffee hours in Nubian Square and email newsletters were all her idea. She was followed by Ha Ta.

Lex has continued to help The Scope grow in terms of content, audience and partnerships.

In our weekly Quick Takes, Dan looks at The Boston Globe as it turns 150, and Ellen reports on a California bill aimed at funding local public interest journalism.

You can listen to our conversation here and subscribe through your favorite podcast app.

Author: Dan Kennedy

I am a professor of journalism at Northeastern University and a contributor to GBH News in Boston. My blog, Media Nation, is online at dankennedy.net.

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