Publisher, journalist, and media entrepreneur John Heaston talks about the story that initially drew him into the media business, how his publishing career developed alongside a tumultuous media ecosystem, and why alternative news media is an essential part of our lives. Heaston also talks about the importance of citizen and community led news and what the future holds for the media more broadly.
John Heaston is the founder, publisher, and editor of Pioneer Publishing, a group of media channels that includes an alternative, metropolitan news monthly called The Reader, a bilingual community news monthly called El Perico, and OmahaJobs.com. He has served on the Board of the Mildred D. Brown Memorial Study Center, where he helped renew America’s oldest Black female founded and run newspaper — the Omaha Star. Through the Association of Alternative News Media, the National Association of Hispanic Publications, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association - called the Black Press - Heaston is helping reshape the national conversation around saving and supporting local media through diverse, locally-owned publishers. Among several community endeavors, Heaston is a founder of both the Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards and the Maha Music Festival.