What’s new in news
Site for Arkansas launches today
After months of planning, www.ArkansasNewsroom.com, a site about Arkansas, made its debut on Monday. A subscriber-only newsletter is also part of the site and the first issue will be coming out on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Heading up the site is Jeremy Peppas, the long-time editor of the North Little Rock Times, who brings nearly three decades of news experience to the project.
“All readers will need to do is visit the site and enter their email address,” Peppas said of ArkansasNewsroom.com. “For full access to the site and the newsletter, it will be $5 a month, or $50 for the year.”
Peppas noted there’s a free option that gives limited access to the site and newsletter. The site is powered on the Substack platform and gives readers local news and sports brought to them by a professional team of writers and editors.
“It is exciting,” Peppas said. “This is a different kind of platform and something new for Arkansas. The site will post daily, short news items, with an emailed newsletter for subscribers that will put a bow on the week by letting them know what has happened and what is coming up.”
The for-profit endeavor will be entirely reader-supported and not accept advertising.
“That’s one of the things that makes this different,” Peppas said. “We want subscribers, and we want to give them the cleanest possible reading experience. So that means no banner ads and no pop-up ads that blast music when you just want to read what’s going on in your community.”
Former readers of the Times and Maumelle Monitor will recognize many of the names who have agreed to contribute their writing, insight and photography to the site.
“I am profoundly grateful to have such a talented group of people on board for this,” Peppas said. “To me, it is the people involved who will make the difference as this goes forward.”
Among those contributing are:
Neal Moore, an award-winning columnist for the Monitor and Times who wrote the essential “Moore on Maumelle” for both papers. Moore will also contribute reported stories and maybe even a photo or two.
Donna Lampkin Stephens will be covering sports for the site. A former sports reporter for the Arkansas Gazette, Stephens was inducted into the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2016. She covered high school sports and golf, among other things, for The Times and Monitor, where she received numerous state and national awards from the Arkansas Press Association and the National Newspaper Association.
The husband-and-wife team of Jaison and Callie Sterling will also make their combined presence known. Jaison, one of the most accomplished photographers in Arkansas, and a state and national award winner for his work with The Times, will bring his distinctive eye and visual flair to ArkansasNewsroom.com. Callie, also a talented photographer with state and national awards to her credit, will contribute both her words and photos.
While the content will have a strong Central Arkansas flavor, the site will also feature healthcare coverage from Kaiser Health News to give a larger perspective on the ongoing pandemic as well as other medical news.
“How people get their news has changed,” Peppas said. “People aren’t going to the porch to fetch the paper anymore. They have devices in their pockets for that, and ArkansasNewsroom.com will deliver the local news they want and need.”
Peppas also thanked the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center for its ongoing assistance with ArkansasNewsroom.com.
“They’ve been great and incredibly helpful,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done without them.”