By Joy Grace Webb
It is a common saying nowadays to “Shop Local.” It keeps the circulation of money in the local economy and it helps small businesses grow. With this in mind, the second part of the print practicum for journalism and mass communications decided to highlight the “smaller stories” in their spring 2019 magazine issue.
“It prizes the smaller stories, and gives different kinds of people the chance for their voice to be heard,” Hannah Looper, deputy copy chief of The Local said. “This magazine is important because it tells the stories of businesses and people who might not get the chance to be featured in a larger magazine.”
As well as giving a voice to the smaller businesses, the magazine staff decided to focus on diversity in their latest issue. Diversity is interlaced in the stories they tell, featuring the differing cultures of Birmingham, non-profits, local shops and other Birmingham-related stories. The team of students working on The Local understand what happens in the local community effects what happens on campus. It uses this understanding to create captivating photo essays and feature stories that appeal to Samford students as Birmingham residents. They know that Samford students make Birmingham their home away from home, and what better way to find out about one’s home than the local magazine.
“The flow of our magazine consists of stories defined by their emphasis on issues, individuals and culture that either originated in or were produced by Birmingham, Alabama,” Editor-in-Chief Emily Frazier said.
The staff of the magazine had the goal of portraying unknown and obscure stories about the people and places of Birmingham as a whole, not just the Samford-related parts.
“Students can look forward to really owning a sense of pride when they see their city portrayed so visually and articulately between the photo essays and articles,” Looper said.
The Local, recognized as one of the top student-run publications in the South, would not have become award-winning without a team of creative minds and strong leaders. Clay Carey is the professor of the print practicum classes and oversees the work of the magazine as publisher.
Frazier, a senior journalism and mass communications major, worked as a part of The Local staff in 2018 before stepping into the role of editor-in-chief in 2019. The two lead the team in creating a magazine worth not only reading, but investing time in.
“As editor-in-chief, my main focus for this magazine has been full submersion,” Frazier said. “Meaning, if we are going to produce a beautiful book we all need to be drawing from the same inspiration, all be on the same page, and writing for the same mission.”
The class kept this focus intact in practical ways throughout the spring semester.
“We filled the walls of our classroom up with layouts, pictures, and stories that inspired us, and kept our conversation topics in the classroom flowing with culture, issues, and individuals that directed our theme,” Frazier said.
The staff of 10 students have been hard at work all semester fighting deadlines and spring break fever to present a magazine worth, not only reading, but remembering.
The staff sends the magazine to the printers this week, per Carey. Pretty soon, The Local will be sitting on the desks of students, waiting to be read and reread.
In the meantime, follow along with what is to come from The Local on Instagram @the_local_bham.