INTRODUCING ARKLATEX NEWS: and its sister online publications, including and, were many years in the making and launched under the direction of Executive Editor R. Mason on May 4, 2019. The concept was initially developed in 2015 with the idea of establishing a news organization for the ArkLaTex region including Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, North Louisiana and Southeast Oklahoma.

OUR CHALLENGE: The ArkLaTex has a population of more than 1 million people The geographic area it covers is vast, and the region is unique in many ways. In addition, our demographic and economic research showed our local communities in the Four States area were far more socially and economically integrated than we originally realized. This exciting discovery led to a critical question: How do we effectively cover a region as large and diverse as the ArkLaTex?

REACHING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY: To cover the ArkLaTex fairly and evenly, we decided to create local "hubs" to distribute news. This would allow us to produce "hyperlocal" or "very local" news for the important communities of our region. The goal was to offer a network of ArkLaTex news websites that moved across city and state boundaries to reach the entire region. An added benefit is that our effort could spur economic growth as more ArkLaTex citizens become educated about other cities, counties and parishes in our region and what they have to offer.

STATES MATTER: Above all else, we wanted to be sure we effectively reported on each area of the ArkLaTex. This gave us one more challenge: Because our region includes four states, we needed a way to cover state issues unique to each state while still retaining our original vision of incorporating the broader ArkLaTex region.

THE SOLUTION: We decided to launch separate Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, North Louisiana and Southeast Oklahoma websites to collect news from our local cities, counties and parishes. This way, readers can easily find the news they want, and we can help communicate the importance of each state to the other parts of the ArkLaTex region.

ARKLATEX NEWS AND THE WAY FORWARD: Our mission is simple: We want to provide relevant, interesting news and information for local citizens. We also want people in other areas of the ArkLaTex (and beyond) to learn more about our local businesses, vacation opportunities and events in this wonderful region we all call home - while doing our part to promote local commerce, add jobs and expand opportunities.