“It became apparent that Atlanta needed something, or at least I wanted something. But the more I talked to people about it, they were also ready for something new.”
— Aja Arnold
Journalist Aja Arnold has a passion for local news.
She’s the founding editor of The Mainline, an independent, Atlanta-based print and digital magazine that covers local news.
The Mainline started as a way to support the independent music scene… but its scope expanded after Governor Brian Kemp passed the abortion-restricting Heartbeat Bill.
The Mainline became a safe space for progressives to put politics and culture into context.
It’s covered abortion legislation, the pandemic, the uprisings of 2020 and 2021, and city council races, among other stories.
Now, even the simple act of reporting news has become almost controversial. “Fake news” and disinformation campaigns have sparked distrust in journalism as a whole.
But that isn’t the only problem in American news media.
“I think the truth is we’ve all been brainwashed to some degree in American society,” Aja explains. “To put it simply, our media systems were built and established to uphold a white power structure. And we’re still stuck with those consequences today.”
It’s why many media outlets had trouble describing the Capital insurrection, Aja says. And misinformation can be a matter of life and death.
The angle and language of news coverage affects how people understand our world, how they vote, and the policies that are put in place.
While solutions like media reparations (involving practices such as reporting on subjects like police brutality and domestic terrorism in ways that don’t center white viewpoints) and grassroots funding can help improve news quality, Aja sees a long road ahead.
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- What to do and not to do when addressing disinformation online
- Why there is no such thing as real objectivity when it comes to the news
- The importance of grassroots funding when it comes to creating vital local media
About Aja Arnold
Aja is the founding editor of The Mainline, an independent print and digital women-led magazine based in Atlanta, GA devoted to supporting independent artists, musicians, and grassroots movements.
00:31 About Aja Arnold
01:37 “What is your ritual?”
03:00 Ten Percent Happier
03:58 The Mainline story
06:38 Disinformation & media reparations
09:21 Objectivity in news doesn’t exist
10:30 Local journalism & media movements
12:48 The real value of news
16:11 Patreon & mutual aid
Special thanks to Emily Milling and the team at The Ultimate Creative and our business manager Erika Macauley.
Music for this podcast was recorded with producer Spencer Garn at Diamond Street Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
Learn more at www.hollandcreative.io/ritual