Reston, VA

Today is the last day for reporter Ashley Hopko at Local News Now, our parent company.

Hopko joined Reston now a year ago as part of the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship. During her fellowship, Hopko covered a wide range of stories from profiling locals helping vulnerable populations during the pandemic to interviewing county officials.

“While writing for Reston Now, I loved feedback — both the negative and positive — from commentators because it showed that they were engaged in our work,” Hopko told us about her experience reporting hyperlocal news. “We have the chance to amplify the concerns of community members and call out oddities.”

Hopko split her time between Reston Now and our sister site Tysons Reporter for most of her fellowship. When not reporting for the two sites, Hopko worked on a media project documenting the challenges Mexican journalists face, which won first place in the fellowship’s competition.

“The biggest takeaway from my fellowship with Poynter-Koch was the importance of transparent reporting and how to help people become media-literate,” Hopko said. “By properly crediting sources and links, people can learn to seek accurate information and form their own opinions on key topics.”

Photo by Rob Wallace/courtesy Ashley Hopko

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