This year has been a strong one for OCN. Starting as a single-subject newsroom at launch in Sept. 2021, OCN focused solely on local government reporting because that’s what readers told us mattered most to them. The important decisions being made by local elected officials and news on the rapid growth and development happening around them were what readers told us they wanted to know about.
But as the year unfolded, OCN found critical information gaps that were not being met. Below you’ll find several of OCN’s public service journalism projects that have had deep impacts on the community.
Local government focus
Although our newsroom works to expand our coverage to address other information gaps in the community, our focus is still on local government coverage – a critical service that was lacking in Greater Oviedo and Winter Springs.
Tuning in to a government meeting can be time consuming and confusing. People give up and instead get their local information from Facebook or word of mouth. This can spread misinformation and create division. OCN coverage distills hours of meetings into 3-5 minute articles focused on the most important happenings.
Our reach has grown
None of OCN’s work matters if no one reads it, so our community reach is incredibly important. OCN celebrated its first anniversary in September. Since launch, our reach grew fivefold, from 400 Early Bird subscribers to 2,060. Our website gets an average of 26,000 views per month.
One of the most significant measures of our community impact is the reader feedback we receive. Here are some examples:
Cristina Parson told us that she loved the article we wrote on Dolly Ames, a hyper-involved Winter Springs resident who passed away earlier this year.
“The article on Dolly Ames. It’s lovely to see the impact kindness and generosity makes on our community.”
“I like all your articles, but especially ones with news about activities for the 60- to 70-year-old group. Keep up the good work. Love to read all the news you provide!”
-Oviedo resident Janet Marshall
“Great publication with wonderful, local info. Appreciate all you do.”
-Melissa Kweller, Oviedo resident and owner of Green Acres Farm in Oviedo
Our goals for 2023
The OCN team is looking forward to responding to even more of the community’s information needs. According to our listening sessions with residents, the following projects have been identified for the upcoming year.
Thank you to our supporters
We could not do any of this without the support of our reader contributors. Thank you to everyone who supported our mission this year.
Help us get off to a strong start in 2023 by making a year-end, tax-deductible gift by Dec. 31. Learn more >
Have questions or ideas for the newsroom?
Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org