Independent media proved its importance this past week by providing community-centered Roe v. Wade coverage. While national news focused on the Supreme Court leak or pointed fingers internally for the inevitable demise of U.S. federal abortion access, indie outlets never waved the white flag.
Instead, these news orgs published perspectives specific to their communities while sharing important context and solutions-oriented next steps. In doing so, these outlets validated the important role they play in the larger news ecosystem, even when vital breaking news comes from mainstream sources.
The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) recently compiled a great summary of abortion reaction stories from its news partners. This rundown only scratches the surface of inspirational independent journalism since last week’s bombshell Politico story, so here are more examples — from the Indiegraf network and beyond.
The immediate aftermath
In the days after the story broke, many indie outlets joined their readers on the streets.
- For example, The Kansas City Defender covered a rally led by Reale Justice Network, a local group of Black women, trans and non-binary community organizers who advocate on behalf of those most likely to be impacted by this looming change. The article includes actions readers can take to help and get involved.
- Local women’s advocacy groups sounded the alarm on other human rights now under threat. The Palm Springs Post reported on this “code red moment” and what local organizers are doing to prepare for a “long, hot summer.”
- Numerous local outlets also used protest and rally visuals to convey local reactions over the past week, including the Tucson Sentinel, This Is Reno and Block Club Chicago.
Maintaining fundamental rights
Once abortions are no longer protected at the U.S. federal level, many states risk losing significant or complete access.
- Iowa Starting Line helped state residents learn how to use a national network of abortion funds, including one specific to Iowans.
- Other local outlets, such as The Oaklandside, helped spread awareness about other reproductive rights rallies when reporting early reactions. And The TRiiBE reminded its local readers about the importance of including narratives from Black Chicagoans in its activism efforts.
- Some coverage this week also outlines pathways for maintaining abortion access. A commentary published by CalMatters recommends that blue states with codified abortion protections should proclaim “states’ rights” — sound eerily familiar?
- Also, with health care covered more prominently than ever since COVID-19, niche outlets such as NC Health News are using the opportunity to contextualize what this news means to their coverage area.
Reactions beyond the states
The rest of North America also reacted to the Roe v. Wade probable appeal, shedding light on the lack of quality abortion access in other countries.
- The Breach discussed the Canadian implications as part of its latest podcast episode and highlighted the ongoing struggle to ensure national abortion access.
- While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed the legality of abortion in Canada, The Independent reminds readers the procedure is still hard to access in Newfoundland & Labrador because of broader reproductive health system failures.
Hopefully this sampling of related coverage inspires your own work. We invite you to respond with more examples of quality coverage from local independent news sources, and we’ll be sure to share the work across the Indiegraf network.