A letter from Flintside's new managing editor

FLINT, Michigan -- As a reporter in a crowd, my invisibility cloak doesn’t always work. I’m sure it has something to do with furious scribbles to a notebook and the swinging camera around my neck as I ease my way through aisle seats, squatting in various positions to get a better shot of the same frame.


“Who are you with?” someone will ask.


Since November 2018, I have written and photographed for Flintside. It’s the publication that has put my skills to the test and will continue to do so as I take on the position as Managing Editor.


As a Flintside reporter, I have gotten closely acquainted with the collateral positivity associated with the publication—the smiles, the ‘thank-you’s,” and the following encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing. Remembering these interactions has kept my motivation warm as a reporter, photographer, and On the Ground Project Editor. Hearing this feedback has deepened my sense of responsibility with every article I’ve penned.


“You’re writing the positive news,” someone will say. I suppose, but I want to encourage a closer look.


Every person who carries a pen, notebook, camera, social media account, or Wi-Fi connection simultaneously carries with them a lens—a frame of perspective with things cropped out and in. Written words are powerful, but so is a point of view. It’s the lasting lesson I’ve learned as a student of history as well as a reporter for local news.


Here at Flintside, I want to continue the practice of prioritizing a solutions-based lens with strong analysis of issues that fuel animated holiday dinner conversations for many Flint families but with an equal focus on the people, programs, or organizations that are mobilizing to make a difference.


Marjory Raymer, former publisher and managing editor of Flintside, always said this publication was a way of introducing the world to the city she had come to know and love. I can’t help but do the same.

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Read more articles by Xandr Brown.