The Post Digs In

team resurrects the Chippewa Valley Post with nonprofit local journalism

Steve Freuhauf, photos by Andrea Paulseth

HEART OF THE POST. The Chippewa Valley Post, a local news website, (softly) re-launched on February 2. Above: the site’s main editorial staff.
HEART OF THE POST. The Chippewa Valley Post, a local news website, (softly) re-launched on February 2. Above: the site’s main editorial staff.

Strong beliefs occasionally demand leaps of faith. People invest in something intangible in the moment and, if developed, hope to see their hard work come to fruition. Eau Claire residents Dr. David Gordon and Bob Brown are doing just that, diving head first into the blossoming “resurrection” of the Chippewa Valley Post.

Gordon, the publication’s board chair, and Brown, lead editor, worked with fellow staff and volunteers to soft-launch cvpost.org on Feb. 2 for the first time in two and a half years. While they’ve kept the publication’s former name, these two have shifted the content direction dramatically.

“That’s where we hope to step in; do the stories that aren’t being covered anymore on a regular basis with a big emphasis on the non-profit community.” – Bob Brown, lead editor of the Chippewa Valley Post

When founder Jamie Paige created the Post in March 2011, it mirrored the content community members would find in area publications like the Leader-Telegram. But since it’s resurrection, Gordon and Brown have emphasized the need for a change in coverage, focusing on one community in particular.

“Our focus is very different; we aren’t trying to duplicate what the Leader-Telegram is doing, what Volume One is doing, what the TV stations are doing,” Brown said. “That’s where we hope to step in; do the stories that aren’t being covered anymore on a regular basis with a big emphasis on the non-profit community.”

The Post’s soft-launch, funded by a couple Immanuel Lutheran Church grants, was an early effort to show potential business investors this publication is fulfilling a vital need to the Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Dunn counties and the area non-profit community as a whole.

Gordon said Brown and himself have already reached out to numerous businesses and taken several avenues to garner some type of revenue support, but producing a product was important before convincing others to commit. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and Wisconsin Public Radio, he said, have been great supporters, thus far.

The publication hopes to eventually function through memberships and sponsorships, Brown said, providing not only content, but an additional avenue for organizations to stay connected and educated on one another through the Post’s non-profit directory.

Along with funding, the publication is also looking for writers, either community members or current students, who are interested in contributing time and content to help increase awareness about all of these different organizations.

“As somebody said in an email to me after we were on WPR, she said she’s really interested in the fact that we’re constructing the ship as we’re sailing it,” Gordon said. “It’s a really good metaphor.”

Brown said a year from now he hopes the Post can add four additional writing positions, set up internship opportunities with both UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout, and have a solid core of community members interested in contributing.

The Post has recently started a mentorship in an effort to help those interested better their audio and writing skills. Along with that, Brown said he would conduct a training session for anyone interested in contributing but fearful their work isn’t up to par.

Web: cvpost.orgAnyone interested in contributing to the Chippewa Valley Post through donation or volunteering their time can email Brown at cvpostwi@gmail.com

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