Our mission is to inform the public on the most critical issues facing metro Atlanta by providing in-depth reporting and presenting possible solutions with opportunities for civic engagement online and in the community.
Our definition of civic journalism
Civic journalism is a way to inform the public about the most critical issues affecting our community. The Atlanta Civic Circle will provide solutions-oriented reporting and analysis and create a forum where people can become more engaged in the decision-making process.
Who we are
In fast-evolving Atlanta, civic engagement has never been more crucial. Many residents, however, underestimate the impact they can have on the future of their city with efforts as slight as an occasional visit to a community meeting or casting a ballot in a local election. Equally underappreciated in Atlanta is the need to educate folks on how to make those easy steps. All too often, public meetings are underattended, local votes are determined by an invested few, and the direction of the city’s growth is left at the mercy of local leaders, from city, county, and state politicians to real estate developers to lobbyists and more. Therein lies a sense of urgency to usher more Atlantans toward a desire to have a say.
Enter the Atlanta Civic Circle, a nonprofit publication from the mind of Maria Saporta, the renowned veteran journalist who’s for 10 years run the civic-minded news outlet SaportaReport. The aim of the Atlanta Civic Circle is to harness the sense of engagement fostered by SaportaReport to build a better educated, more involved readership that shall shape the Atlanta of tomorrow. Step one is to develop expertise in one of Atlanta’s most daunting issues: Housing Affordability. Step two is to take on Democracy in our region.
Imagine, years from now, an Atlanta where the housing affordability crisis is but a distant memory, thanks largely to laypeople and their neighbors, and not just the powers that be. The Atlanta Civic Circle’s inaugural goal is to hone in on the core issues that have the city’s affordable housing stock in a downward spiral — and its displacement rates at record highs — and to direct readers toward the resources necessary to effect change. Expect glossaries, guides, and calendars to inform the masses on the problems Atlanta faces and the potential solutions to those problems.
We at the Atlanta Civic Circle, however, can’t tackle this alone, housing affordability and democracy are but the first two “Civic Circles” we aim to address. As we grow, we need Atlantans of all stripes to guide us toward the coverage and issues that matter most to them. These issues have plagued Atlanta for decades, but they’re far from the only hurdles to creating a world-class city. Perhaps tackling matters of environmental sustainability or homelessness or income inequality — all of which, granted, have current implications on our focus areas— will follow. But we’ll leave that up to you, the readers who appreciate that a vested interest in one’s community is vital to molding a city that prospers everywhere, rather than just a privileged few neighborhoods.
Want to help us choose our next focus area? Suggest a topic for consideration: Click Here