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FAU's The Paradigm Press seeks diversity in readership, staff

Content, headlines evolve beyond social justice.
Posted at 5:52 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 17:52:03-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A group of Black Florida Atlantic University students established The Paradigm Press last spring after being unsatisfied with how their college news source covered social issues.

Now, their readership, along with their focus, has grown as they mark one year as Black journalists and students.

Shannon Rose said going to college in New York City had perks, but a student-run Black news source wasn't one of them.

"I wish something like this existed when I was in college," Rose said. "The fact that they’ve answered the call of duty, and they're trying to educate, is impressive. Their backstory is impressive."

That something is The Paradigm Press.

Florida Atlantic University's unofficial Black news source was created last spring to shine a spotlight on what they say the official student-run news source wasn't covering.

Kennedy McKinney, The Paradigm Press editor-in-chief
Kennedy McKinney explains the importance of running a newspaper that has a focus on issues impacting the Black community.

One year ago, the staff of The Paradigm Press told WPTV the national headlines that gripped them.

"The Breonna Taylor incident, along with George Floyd, those (stories) were not covered by the University Press," said Kennedy McKinney, The Paradigm Press editor-in-chief and FAU junior.

The content and headlines have now evolved beyond social justice.

"We're definitely going up, and we've also gotten a lot more subscribers as well," McKinney said.

The editorial staff has added finances, health, fashion, black inventors, mental health and LGBTQ news.

"Everything about the Black community, rather than just our struggles," said Raquel Perry, The Paradigm Press contributing writer, FAU sophomore. "It's also important to understand that some people might not ever understand the Black experience. so it’s important to have patience and we're using our voice and platform to explain."

Raquel Perry, The Paradigm Press contributing writer
Raquel Perry writes for The Paradigm Press.

Readers like artist Caleb "King Kaleeb" Decius have noticed.

"There's Haitians, Jamaicans, Bahamians, Trinidadians, straight people, gay people, women issues, male issues -- so many things," Decius said. "There's different religions. Our food is even different."

"We've grown to write about other things because Black people are so diverse. We like so many different things, so we're trying to cater to everybody in the Black community," added Aaliyah Fisher, The Paradigm Press contributing writer and FAU senior.

Operations have also changed. Writers are now paid thanks to a grant from the Society of Professional Journalists Florida.

"It’s hard to have a college student who has a job, a full-time class workload and then also asking them to write articles every week," McKinney said. "It's a lot to ask, so by adding the payment, we're hoping that it will motivate writers and bring more people to The Paradigm Press."

Caleb "King Kaleeb" Decius, The Paradigm Press reader
Caleb "King Kaleeb" Decius says there are a variety of topics in the Black community that need attention and The Paradigm Press helps fill that void.

This summer, the team is also diversifying its strategy seeking diversity in both readership and staff. They call their formation a positive born from a national wake-up call.

"To reach different types of people so we’re not just publishing stories that Black students will enjoy, but all students will enjoy," McKinney said. "In order for change to happen, we need more than just the Black students to be on board, so that's going to be the main goal when it comes to our social justice articles and pieces."

Click here to learn more about The Paradigm Press.

To learn more about writing opportunities within The Paradigm Press send an email to: paradigmpressinc@gmail.com