Dispatch Mobile Newsroom: Telling stories in Columbus neighborhoods

Sheridan Hendrix
The Columbus Dispatch
The first Columbus Dispatch Mobile Newsroom was located at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and was introduced to the public on Oct. 21.

When Robert Brotherton of White Hall, England purchased 156 acres of land located between Alum Creek and Big Walnut Creek in 1838, Ye Olde Whitehall Tavern was born. The tavern became a popular overnight stop for stagecoaches traveling along the National Road.

A small farming community began to grow and the name “Whitehall” was unofficially adopted, although it didn't officially become a city until 1947.

From its days as the world's largest military supply installation during World War II to its boom times as one of the country's fastest growing cities in the 1950s, Whitehall has a fascinating history as one of Columbus' last remaining post-war suburbs.

Whitehall has faced challenges along the way, though, including blight and crime rates that were higher than other suburbs. Passionate local leaders and residents, however, said they've made great strides and see a bright future.

That's one reason why the Hilltop is the most recent stop on the Mobile Newsroom, the Dispatch’s traveling effort to base more reporters in the community and report more fully on underrepresented neighborhoods.

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What is the Mobile Newsroom?

Instead of going to our Downtown office to work each day, a couple of Dispatch reporters work from the Columbus Metropolitan Library branch in a specific Columbus neighborhood for about a month.

This month, reporter Eric Lagatta is working from the Whitehall branch on East Broad Street. He and other Dispatch journalists, will explore Whitehall and its neighboring communities.

The purpose of the Mobile Newsroom — which has made stops in Northland, Driving Park and the Hilltop — is to position journalists in an underserved area so that we can get to know residents, organizations, religious groups, business owners and the entire neighborhood better. This is part of our initiative to be more intentional about representing the entire community and the rich diversity of this city in our coverage.

In short, we're hoping to build relationships and tell good stories. Here's what we've learned so far in Whitehall:

Contact our Whitehall Mobile Newsroom Reporters

Eric Lagatta

elagatta@dispatch.com

@EricLagatta

Stories from previous Mobile Newsroom locations

Hilltop

Driving Park

Northland