By Jan Worth-Nelson
Kate Stockrahm, an experienced journalist already well-attuned to issues in the Flint community, has joined East Village Magazine (EVM) as editor, the publication’s board of trustees have announced.
Stockrahm, 32, a Dearborn, Mich. native, came to Flint in 2021 as a reporter at Flint Beat, part of the national Report for America program. In that role she developed the newsroom’s economic development beat, covering affordable housing, brownfield redevelopment, business openings and blight elimination efforts.
She was promoted to associate editor, helping guide Flint Beat’s coverage on government accountability, gun violence, and access issues for public services and projects. She also led journalist training efforts and the newsroom’s solutions journalism work.
Stockrahm holds a masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused on audio production, visual storytelling, and multi-media story design; and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, where she graduated summa cum laude in English Language and Literature with a minor in Latin.
During her tenure at Flint Beat, Stockrahm won several awards from the Michigan Press Association, for spot news, enterprise, and business reporting.
Paul Rozycki, a political commentator and president of the EVM board of trustees, said, “We expect that Kate Stockrahm’s energy and skilled journalism will give East Village Magazine the ability to cover the news that matters to Flint and the surrounding community.”
At East Village Magazine, Stockrahm will supervise a staff of about ten citizen journalists in covering a range of city, school board, politics, nonprofit, neighborhood, sports, and arts and culture stories. She also will continue efforts to recruit and train writers in local community journalism.
Here are some comments Stockrahm provided to questions posed by EVM:
I’m from Michigan originally, so when the opportunity arose to come home after spending COVID unable to see my family and friends back here, it felt right.
Since moving here, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Flint and my new community. It’s my absolute privilege to work in a field that allows me to serve them.
I view local journalism as an important, if regularly undervalued, public service. Local publications are where you can learn about city policies that will directly affect you, read about high school championship games and that neighborhood meeting you missed, find out about candidates for local offices, and so much more that impacts your everyday life.To me, those things are just as valuable as the stories from legacy newsrooms with a huge subscriber base. And while I also read about (and live) the difficulty of keeping local news running and funded, I also believe that constantly showing its value to the community will help prove it’s worth supporting here in Flint and elsewhere.
Flint doesn’t have a vibe, it is one. It’s magical and frustrating and beautiful and messy all at once. It’s staying out til 3 but helping at the community clean-up at 9. It’s feeling hopeless and then running into a good friend you haven’t seen in ages. It’s dancing in the rain on a hot summer night. It’s a place like no place else. And for all the words in my arsenal: I actually don’t have the right ones to describe it. It’s Flint. It’ll break your heart and sew it back together again as long as you let it.
East Village Magazine was established in 1976 by photojournalist and lifelong Flint personage Gary Custer, who ran it out of a small storefront on Second Street. Funded in those early years entirely by ads and donations and run by volunteers primarily from the Central Park neighborhood, the magazine has expanded its reach into the greater Flint community. In addition to ad and donor contributions, it has garnered about 40 percent of its support since 2015, when Custer died, from the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and other charitable and nonprofit sources.
The magazine was featured in a 2016 article in the Columbia Journalism Review, available here.
Stockrahm is replacing Tom Travis, editor since 2020, who has left to pursue other career opportunities.
You can reach Kate Stockrahm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Worth-Nelson was editor of EVM from 2015 to 2020 and now serves as consulting editor and member of the board. Her collection of columns published in EVM from 2007-2022, That’s My Moon Over Court Street: Dispatches from a Life in Flint, came out in 2023. She can be reached at email@example.com.