Letter from the editor: What is Lake Voice News?



My name is Graham Hakala, and I'm the current editor-in-chief of Lake Voice News.

Pinning down an exact definition for Lake Voice News can be a challenging task. It’s a moving target; a shape-shifting community news publication that differs, in many ways, from one year to the next.

Our main purpose is to tell stories of the people and places in the Twin Ports communities. There is no denying that Duluth is a special place. It’s both a scenic paradise of woods and water, and a historic city with plenty of arts and culture to go around.

Every year during the spring semester at UMD, a group of journalism students come together to make Lake Voice News their own. It serves as a training ground for students to hone their craft before venturing out into the big, scary world. It gets these young journalists off of their campus and out into the community.

This is the first time that Lake Voice News has run during the fall semester. For this run in particular, but just like all the others, we decided to do things a little differently.

We’ve decided to take a more personal approach to writing about our community. We lifted some of the stuffy restrictions that go along with traditional news writing style. For one, the class was opened to non-journalism students. This creates a diverse group of experience and talent, with some editors testing the limits of a newsroom for the first time. Essentially, what we have evolved into is a collective of community writers, photographers, and backpack journalists living in a digital age.

Every week, our team of storytellers goes out into the community to find a story to tell, and they tell it how they want to tell it. Take a look at some of the kinds of stories we have put out so far:


Chef Jillian Forte of At Sara's Table with one of her creations: the Hippie Farm Breakfast. Photo by Sam Cochrane

Our resident food writer, Sam Cochrane, peeking behind the kitchen doors to some of Duluth’s best restaurants (with permission, of course) for the series recipe of the week. Check out this sweet dish: The Hippie Farm Breakfast from At Sara's Table, and learn how to make it yourself.   “I’d work right now if I could,” Gallagher said. “A lot of homeless people feel that way. It’s all circumstances.” - Steve Gallagher Photo by Daniel BadhwaDaniel Badhwa has been out on the streets telling the difficult stories of those suffering from homelessness in Duluth. We have some incredibly touching stories about what it’s like to go without, like Life of the homeless: one man and his dog.


And here is an article I wrote about how I'm still starstruck by Alan Sparhawk, Duluth music legend.

Alan Sparhawk plays with his band, Retribution Gospel Choir, at Redstar Lounge in Duluth. Photo by Graham Hakala


Those articles represent just a few examples of what is going on here. I encourage you to take a look back at all of the articles that have been posted over the past several months. You might discover something about the Twin Ports that you may not have known.

In the simplest terms, Lake Voice News is a community news publication. We want you to get involved with us. We want to hear your stories, and we want to see your pictures. We want you to tell us where to go next.

What would you like to see from Lake Voice News?

Find us on all of our social media channels and tell us what you think.



Or send us an email at lakevoicenews@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you.

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