During the 2021 mayoral election, the five balloted candidates made the rounds of the mainstream Boston media, speaking with local broadcast stations and the Boston Globe – and all five made time to speak with The Scope Boston, an editorially-independent digital magazine operated by Northeastern University’s School of Journalism.
Focused on telling “stories of justice, hope, and resilience” in the Greater Boston Area, The Scope seeks to cover and amplify the voices of communities that are all too often overlooked or mischaracterized by the traditional media. In just a few years, the magazine has carved out a niche in the local media and become a must for candidates looking to connect to under-resourced voters.
Founded as The Docket in 2017 by graduate students Emily Hopkins, Priyana Ketkar, and Brilee Weaver to cover criminal justice cases, the magazine changed its name as it broadened the spectrum of topics its staff covered. A staff of undergraduate and graduate students now run the publication under the leadership of faculty advisor Matt Carroll, Journalism Professor of the Practice, and Editor-in-Chief Lex Weaver.
The Scope is designed to serve as a supplement to mainstream news outlets, focusing on collaborative and community-based news and making it available to as broad an audience as possible for free online.
“The news industry is in a constant shift, whether that be via staff or current happenings; Only so much can be covered and each team has different resources. We hope that our news and materials will help contribute to larger conversations already being covered by bigger news outlets and within communities,” states Weaver. “We also hope in some instances to supply a different angle on current event coverage that better matches community voices.”
During the most recent election, The Scope allowed candidates an equal platform to speak directly to voters, teaching student reporters the importance of fair and balanced journalism at the same time.
“Due to the general polarizing climate we live in as a nation, people want to make sure the right person is leading them. So we assisted with that by doing in-depth interviews with each candidate that said yes,” Weaver said. “We wanted to cover elections because it was something we knew would be pivotal for the general public. Politically, our nation is in a turning point and more folks are feeling activated and inclined to lead their communities that never have done so before.”
Northeastern student reporters at The Scope are at the front lines of this exciting community-minded shift.