“When are we getting one in Morgantown?” How many times have you heard that question asked by your friends, coworkers, and neighbors? Sometimes we ask it about national chain stores, wondering when Morgantown will receive a beloved restaurant franchise or noteworthy department store. It’s a question we ask about our community life too. When are we getting an answer about the traffic situation? When are we getting a solution to our food desert? If the past five years in Morgantown are any indication of a pattern, when Morgantown starts to ask “when are we getting one?,” magic starts to happen, whether it’s trendy burrito joints, community sports, halal restaurants, craft stores, academic buildings, or traffic circles. So when the Vandaleer group presented at a local forum last August on new media, highlighting the success they’ve had on establishing hyper-local community news in Wheeling, Huntington, Martinsburg, Elkins, and the New River area, you can guess what the first question was: “When are we getting one in Morgantown?” Changes aren’t just happening to our community after all; the way we get our news has changed in the last five years too. If the statistics are to be believed, you’re more likely than ever to hear about community events through Facebook friends, Twitter feeds, and Google searches. The tools of journalism and publishing, both online and offline, have never been more affordable or accessible. Communities in our state are using these tools and trends to make real differences in their civic life. Websites like Weelunk, Mi-burg, and Vandaleer are impacting local elections, drawing crowds to local events, and sharing just how great their communities are to folks inside and outside the cities they represent. “So! When are we getting one in Morgantown? Good news- today is the day! Welcome to Zackquill.com, a brand new, unapologetically pro-Morgantown media platform. Our plan is to use the tools of journalism and new media for the unity, growth, and flourishing of our community, including Morgantown proper, Star City, Westover, and Granville. You’ll also find community news from our neighbors living elsewhere in Monongalia County, Preston County, and the towns of Mt. Morris and Point Marion. What kind of news can you expect to see on Zackquill? This week coming up, you’ll get to see how a team at our local NIOSH center is using hollywood-style motion capture technology to improve working conditions nationwide. We’ll have a history lesson on our town’s founder, Mr. Zackquill Morgan. You’ll be introduced to the newest business on High St. bringing fair trade goods to Morgantown just in time for holiday shopping. We’ve got the latest on new art gallery openings, outdoor adventure opportunities, and a preview of what promises to be a big season for the Morgantown Roller Vixens. If you stay with us, you’ll find lots more: restaurant reviews, arts and culture events, city meeting minutes, transportation updates, and much, much more! Our city and the surrounding community are ready for a community news and web hub that represents the diverse interests and common well wishes we all share. Getting excited? The writers, photographers, and web team here at Zackquill certainly are! Like all new community initiatives, the initial wave of excitement is fun to ride. But we’ll need your support to grow into the media platform Morgantown deserves. As we begin our soft launch today, we’ve got four ways that you can support this new media initiative as it gets off the ground: First: Tell your friends! Grassroots is the way to go with long-lasting community efforts, and if you think our mission of hyper-local news is good for our community, by all means, let your community know! Especially in this early stage of our site, your likes, shares, retweets, and forwards are the most important tool in moving forward. Second: Pitch your story! What community event should we cover? Do you have a story that’s worth telling? Check out our community guidelines to see if it fits for Zackquill. If it works for our site, we’ll send your pitch to our writers to see if they can cover it. Third: Join our team! Zackquill’s staff is composed of amateurs here in town with their own day jobs and daily commitments, just like you. If you have a passion for photography, writing, community organizing, or videography, Zackquill is like “open mic night” for that set of talents. Fourth: Advertise with us! Zackquill.com’s website has multiple options to get your event, business, or message to a unique demographic: people who care about Morgantown. We’re especially excited to offer competitive rates to folks who partner with us in these early launch stages. We have a great town full of great stories. We want to build a place to share them all. Welcome again to Zackquill.com, and stay tuned for the latest stories and events that shape our town’s present and impact its future. 7 Responses Jay Shelledy November 2, 2016 Evidently the professor that discovered that Volkswagen was cheating emission tests was a professor at WVU. It’s probably been covered somewhere, but I had to do a lot of reading to find that information. It’s old news but it would be a nice story to boost the morale of Morgantown and WVU while simultaneously possibly getting us some international and national recognition as a contributor to progress. Log in to Reply Bryan Jarrell November 2, 2016 Welcome Jay! We’d love to get time with the team from The Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions. That’s definitely a rabbit trail worth following- thanks for the suggestion! Log in to Reply Amanda Gribble November 2, 2016 Hi Jay, I think that’s a great idea! Old news with in-depth research seems to generate renewed interest; Morgantown Magazine just covered the disappearance of 123’s Marsha Ferber, and it’s great for those who are new to the area/unaware. Log in to Reply MaryWade Burnside November 2, 2016 Thanks for the shout-out on the Marsha Ferber story in Morgantown Magazine’s current October/November issue. We think Pam Kasey did a great job. Here is a link to the story. http://www.morgantownmag.com/morgantown/October-November-2016/Missing-Marsha/ Cheryl Paton November 2, 2016 I’m a local artist in Morgantown, WV, and I’m the art instructor at Michael’s. Interested people can check out painting and drawing classes at the store. The website shown is where people can purchase my designs on a variety of products. Log in to Reply Bryan Jarrell November 2, 2016 Welcome Cheryl! If you head over to the “submission” part of our site, feel free to drop off your name, contact info, and a brief description of your work. Our writing team will get the memo, and if they’re interested, they’ll get in touch. Thanks a bunch for reaching out! Log in to Reply Ruth Ann November 1, 2016 Can’t wait Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.