About Dogwood

Dogwood is a civic media newsroom launched in 2019 with the mission of building a more informed, engaged + representative Virginia. Our reporters write about the communities they live in—not as outsiders looking in, but as individuals with unique perspectives and experiences that help them tell the stories that matter to those around them.

Dogwood was the first newsroom launched by COURIER, a network of local newsrooms across the country that are intentionally striving to connect with communities who are disproportionately reached with disinformation and misinformation online. Our reporters and social media correspondents produce reporting for the social media platforms and the online channels where our audience spends their time, with an emphasis on video, graphics, and skimmable newsletters to inform and engage Virginians in the ways they consume information today.

As more and more local newsrooms shutter across the country, we are committed to filling the vacuum with good, factual, local, and culturally relevant news and information that increases informed civic participation.

Our Values At Dogwood, we hold a set of values that guide our reporting on the issues most important to the communities we serve. Those values include the following:

  • Our reporting will be rooted in facts, science, and the communities we serve.
  • We will strive to tell the truth—and will tell you when we get it wrong—because we believe that good information is the lifeblood of democracy, and that democracy will fail when factual journalism is out of reach.
  • We will be intentional about centering the voices of the people in our communities, using our platforms to amplify their experiences and opinions, especially those who are most impacted by the issues being decided in the Richmond and in Washington.
  • As a civic news organization, our journalists will focus their reporting around efforts to strengthen communities, rebuild struggling economies, expand access to health care and child care, address the climate crisis, and reduce inequality in all forms—and covering the leaders championing those efforts.
  • We will be relentless in our coverage of attempts or actions to undermine democratic institutions, especially voting rights, and ballot access, and we will make a special effort to report on public actors who are advancing those efforts.
  • We will never manufacture “both sides” to our stories, giving equal weight to conspiracy theories or junk science. We will always provide proper context in our reporting to help ensure we don’t continue the spread of misinformation or disinformation, and will “show our work” by linking to sources and giving our readers the opportunity to fact check us for themselves.
  • We will be committed to holding accountable elected officials or politicians who betray our values, cause harm, or seek to cause harm to the communities we serve.
  • We will not use political jargon; instead, we will work to break down inaccessible political language for our audiences.
  • We will publish our work where our audiences are: When they move to new platforms or technologies, our brands and journalists will follow.
  • We will prioritize hiring and contracting reporters, editors, and producers who live in the communities we serve, and we will remain committed to staffing our teams and sourcing our stories with the people who reflect the diverse and inclusive country in which we reside.

The Courier Model
As part of the Courier network, Dogwood is committed to serving passive news consumers in communities across Virginia. We will never use a paywall to gate-keep content. Through community-based and human-centered factual, relevant reporting, Courier reaches its target audience with a balance of the community content they’re searching for — like where to find the best natural swimming holes across the commonwealth or how to check to see if their drinking water is safe — and the civic-oriented reporting they need to be more active participants in American democracy. Dogwood is a part of the Courier network, which includes newsrooms in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

How We’re Funded Courier Newsroom is a public benefit corporation owned by Good Information Inc., and supported by a variety of funding sources, including reader contributions, sponsors, and philanthropic and corporate underwriting. Editorial independence is a core tenet of our work and we maintain an editorial firewall between our funding sources and newsrooms that ensures that our underwriters would never influence our journalism. If you are interested in supporting Dogwood, please consider making a contribution here.


Ki Hearne, Social Media Manager
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