As the 2023 Reinventing Delaware process nears completion, we’re spotlighting the top four ideas. This week’s featured finalist is an idea from Allison Levine – Spotlight DE.

The following interview provides additional information about Spotlight DE:

PDFF: How would you describe your idea in a 30-second pitch?

Allison: Spotlight Delaware, a project of the Local Journalism Initiative of Delaware, will be an independent, nonprofit newsroom providing local news that informs and empowers Delawareans through a collaborative model. By partnering with the community, existing newsrooms and nontraditional local news sources, Spotlight will equip Delawareans with the information they need to hold our government accountable, influence public policy decisions, and build stronger communities throughout the state.

PDFF: What difference will your idea make in the community or the world? In what ways will your idea benefit Delaware?

Allison: Spotlight Delaware will strengthen our democracy and our communities. Based on statewide research we conducted in 2021-2022, Spotlight Delaware will:

– Address gaps in local news and information.
– Enhance government accountability to the public.
– Increase informed civic engagement.
– Reduce social polarization.
– Increase equity and opportunity.
– Build public confidence in news coverage.
– Facilitate statewide newsroom collaboration.

We’re building Spotlight Delaware to strengthen our local news ecosystem here in the First State. Then, we intend to take this model around the country, help other communities replicate it, and create a national movement to increase civic engagement, build social connections, and power up our democracy.

PDFF: How are you planning to achieve your idea’s purpose?

Allison: Thanks to Reinventing Delaware and our LaunchPoint Labs, we’ve made huge progress over the past few months. To hit the highlights, we have:

  • Built the infrastructure we need, complete with policies, procedures, and financial systems.
  • Clarified our mission, vision, and brand.
  • Created high-quality collaterals to communicate the opportunity effectively to newsroom partners, funders, and other key players.
  • Created the website, newsletter, social media platforms, distribution systems, and other tools necessary to get great local news and information into our communities.
  • Expanded our sustainability plan to include more diverse revenue streams.

We still have work to do, but Reinventing Delaware has given us so much capacity that we’re just about ready to launch!

PDFF: Will you or someone other than yourself champion this idea should it continue to move forward, and why? If applicable, who else is on your team?

Allison: It’ll be me, backed by the board of the Local Journalism Initiative of Delaware and so many great partners around the state and country. But ultimately, the real champions will be the people of Delaware. We created this vision based on what Delawareans told us they want and need from the local news ecosystem during our statewide research in 2021-2022. Ongoing community conversation and feedback will drive the evolution and growth of Spotlight Delaware in perpetuity.

PDFF: What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Allison: Just start! Even if you have to start really, really small, start with something! When I first started thinking about this work, I had a huge vision. It was a mountain, and I didn’t know how to build a mountain. But I eventually got the confidence to build a few piles of sand. And if you start by building a couple of piles of sand, and then suddenly they start to grow… that mountain starts to emerge.

Sign-up for our eNewsletter to stay up to date on the progress of each idea in the coming weeks. The winning idea will be announced on June 1, 2023.