Kayla Green

Better News: Efforts to serve GenZ increase revenue and engagement

High school sports have been the bread and butter of local news for decades. That’s why it wasn’t so surprising that Gulf Coast Media in Alabama and The Sumter Item in South Carolina decided to revamp their Athlete of the Week feature as a way to connect with younger audiences. What was surprising is how successful the revamped Athlete of the Week feature was at growing cross-generational engagement and attracting corporate sponsorships. 

But not everyone’s youth is defined by scoreboards and white-striped fields. Sumter’s Next Generation, which highlights student achievements off the playing field, fills the void voiced by many in that community and serves as a natural extension of telling the full story of our communities, not just the bad.

Executive editor Kayla Green recently wrote Better News case studies about these two initiatives to serve younger audiences. She discusses them both with host Michael O’Connell on this week’s Better News podcast. Read more about Athlete of the Week and Sumter Next Generation on

The Better News podcast is a partnership between It’s All Journalism and the American Press Institute to a) showcase innovative/experimental ideas that emerge from the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund and b) share replicable strategies and tactics that benefit the news industry as a whole. Sign up for the Better News newsletter to receive news about the latest resources, case studies, and insights. For more news about the IAJ podcast, sign up for the weekly IAJ newsletter.

Allison Taylor-Levine

625. Community collaboration key to evolving local journalism

Allison Taylor Levine, CEO of Local Journalism Initiative, discusses how LJI’s Delaware Journalism Collaborative, which has brought more than 25 partners throughout the state together to report on polarization and possible solutions, strengthens local journalism in Delaware and our democracy.

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Xanthe Scharff

326. Give women a voice and the world listens

Xanthe Scharff, co-founder and executive director of the Fuller Project for International Reporting, joins producer Michael O’Connell to discuss her belief that writing every day and sharing stories can help change lives for girls and women around the world.

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