What We Do
“The fate of communities and the vitality of local news are intrinsically linked,” said a 2018* study. And yet “there are hundreds – if not thousands – of communities at risk of becoming isolated news deserts.”
It is the mission of StoryBoard Memphis to be the community’s resource for information, news and education, promote the city’s authentic assets and build bridges between communities.
It is our vision to address Memphis’ news and information desert and connect communities by providing critical information resources to and on behalf of the community through our partnerships with neighborhood redevelopment programs, neighborhood associations, and digital news platforms.
Revenue Streams Are Key
Traditional print advertising revenues are disappearing, and publications like StoryBoard Memphis must rely on a creative mix of subscriptions, sponsorships and promotions for operating revenues. Studies tell us that healthy sustainable revenues further rely on diverse information delivery – in digital formats, in print, on social media, as podcasts.
StoryBoard Memphis is utilizing as many means as possible to cross audience sectors: as a free monthly print paper; as a digital platform marketed by social media; through the use of local radio programming and podcasts; and in a monthly video/TV program. This multi-platform approach will connect communities to themselves and others, reaching as many households as possible, including those isolated in the news and information deserts.
We do this with a formula of stories, ideas and connections in context for our Memphis community. Stories. Ideas. Connections. Community.
*From 2016 and 2018 studies by the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Media and Journalism.
Why the name “Storyboard?”
Filmmakers use storyboards to sketch out and organize their film before going into production – before hiring actors, before hiring crew, before gathering equipment. Film production teams use these blank comic-strip-like boards to flesh out and realize scripts, to visualize on paper and bulletin boards a story that once lived only in a screenwriter’s head.
Storyboards can be as rudimentary as drawn stick-figures against barely-realized landscapes, can look like classic comic strips, or can be elaborate shot-by-shot mosaics that are works of art on their own. Storyboard rooms are not solitary affairs – they are filled with artists and their unique perspectives, applying their unique contributions.
StoryBoard Memphis does the same. But instead of producing a film we are telling Memphis’ unique story. Exploring and reimagining its past and its possible futures.
We educate and provide community communications with a minimal team of staff and volunteers each day, each week and each month from our office in Cooper-Young, Memphis, Tenn, devoting 100% of our time and resources to deliver – via our publication StoryBoard Memphis, our Community outreach, our Multimedia platforms – information, resources, stories and education to both healthy and disinvested communities through the generous financial support of sponsors, partners and readers. With our continued efforts we aim to fill the gaps left behind by local for-profit news sources, provide relief to isolated communities, connect diverse communities, and with increased awareness of our local authentic assets, promote the hope and excitement in all that Memphis can be as a home and a destination.