Once again, the Chester Matters Blog has won an award. This time is special because the award comes from the journalism community. 

This week, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism announced the 10 members of the 2021 class of The Lenfest Next Generation Fund, and I’m among them. 

The Lenfest Next Generation Fund supports professional development opportunities for Philadelphia-area journalists and students of color and is an annual investment the Institute is making to help achieve the goal of building more equitable and representative news organizations in Philadelphia. 

Although their focus is Philadelphia, earning this award puts the city of Chester on the radar of the 4th largest media market in the country. This exposure will create relationships and partnerships with the Philly media market and help connect our city, our people, and our challenges to the region. 

This award, from one of the most reputable sources in the industry, should be plenty of evidence to invalidate all chatter that my brand of journalism only trashes Chester. Often times it takes outsiders to recognize the value of great work before the hometown folks get on board. #FactsnotFiction

As is often said, if you don’t pat yourself on the back, no one else will. So, congratulations Stefan Roots from the staff of Chester Matters. Since 2006, your commitment to providing excellent hyper-local community journalism is finally being recognized and rewarded by the ‘big guys.’ What use to be considered a crazy idea is fast becoming a focused method of news delivery for organizations like Lenfest.