What do you want to know about affordable housing in Tyler? We’re reporting together to answer your questions

The Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Loop are teaming up to explore a complex issue in Tyler

A joint note from Emily Guevara, editor, Tyler Morning Telegraph, and Tasneem Raja, executive editor, The Tyler Loop

The Tyler Loop and the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler’s daily newspaper, are teaming up to help our community better understand a topic that’s on a lot of people’s minds. 

As Tyler continues to grow, and with increased interest in downtown revitalization, we want to answer your questions. What are Tyler’s affordable housing needs likely to look like going forward? How prepared is our city to meet changing needs? What does affordable housing in Tyler look like today? Where is it? And what role does it play in Tyler’s present and future? 

As our longtime readers know, this is a topic The Tyler Loop has wanted to dig into for a while now. If you haven’t already, tell us what you want to know about affordable housing in Tyler by emailing us at hello@thetylerloop.com or at news@tylerpaper.com with “Affordable Housing” in the subject line, or through this simple online form. (You can also fill it out below.)

We’ll read all of your questions and address as many as we can in our joint reporting on this issue in print and online over the coming weeks. We won’t get to everything, but we’ll try our best.

Why are we working together on this? For one thing, affordable housing is an enormously complex issue, and we believe we can serve our audiences better, and reach more readers, by working together. 

In fact, newsrooms in cities and towns across the country are experimenting with collaborations just like this one. For example, in Ohio, over 50 media organizations from across the state worked together to explore how the opioid crisis is impacting Ohio and its residents. In Philadelphia, over 20 news outlets have jointly produced a project called Broke in Philly, reporting on economic mobility and solutions to poverty.

Collaborations like these are becoming more common, and we think that’s a good thing. Newsrooms across the country have drastically shrunk over the past 20 years, or shuttered altogether. In Texas, 14 daily newspapers and nearly 150 weekly newspapers have folded since 2004, and 22 counties have no daily paper. In the face of these challenges, we’re innovating. To best serve our communities going forward, news organizations like ours are finding ways to join forces and pool resources.

We hope you’ll participate in this first-ever collaboration between The Tyler Loop and the Tyler Morning Telegraph. As Tyler continues to grow, its housing needs will continue to evolve, and we want to help you be informed and engaged on this issue as that happens. Share your questions with our reporters, and we’ll get to work.

Thanks for reading this story. Just one more thing. If you believe in the power of local journalism here in Tyler, I'm hoping that you'll help us take The Loop to the next level.

Our readers have told us what they want to better understand about this place we all call home, from Tyler's north-south divide to our city's changing demographics. Power, leadership, and who gets a seat at the table. How Tyler is growing and changing, and how we can all help it improve. Local arts, culture, entertainment, and food.

We can't do this alone. If you believe in a more informed, more connected, more engaged Tyler, help us tell the stories that need to be told in our community. Get free access to select Loop events, behind-the-scenes updates about the impact and goals of our work, and, above all, a chance to play a part in bringing more fresh, in-depth, unexpected journalism to Tyler.

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Tasneem Raja is the Executive Editor of The Tyler Loop, a nonprofit journalism startup that explores policy, history, and demographics in Tyler, Texas. She is an award-winning journalist who has reported for NPR, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Mother Jones, and other national outlets. A former senior editor at NPR, she launched a popular podcast exploring issues of identity and race with NPR's Code Switch team. At Mother Jones, she specialized in data visualization and led a team that built the first-ever database of mass shootings in America. She's a pioneer in the field of data-driven digital storytelling, a frequent speaker on issues of digital journalism, and a die-hard fan of alt weeklies, where she got her start as a local reporter. She lives in Tyler with her husband, her stepson, and two imperious terriers.
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