The local newspaper industry has seen better days (though not so much in my lifetime). One growth spot, however, is where you might not expect it: Behind bars.
According to the newly launched Prison Newspaper Directory by the Prison Journalism Project, there are 24 prison-based newspapers in 12 states. At least four of the papers were launched in the last year.
RELATED ARTICLEIncarcerated reporters get more bylinesEmily NonkoDecember 12, 2022The directory is part of PJP’s larger Prison Newspaper Project, which provides a short overview of the history of the prison press and republishes stories from prison papers so that they can reach a wider audience. The Prison Journalism Project overall provides training and resources to incarcerated journalists who want to tell stories from inside their correctional facilities.
The idea for the directory came out of San Quentin News, one of the oldest and most established prison newspapers, at the San Quentin State Prison in Northern California. Kevin Sawyer, a formerly incarcerated journalist and a contributing editor to PJP, had started doing his own research about other prison newspapers while he was the associate editor of the San Quentin News. Sawyer shared his findings with PJP, according to Kate McQueen, the project’s editor, and PJP was able to advance the research and put together a directory.