Digital magazine covering pandemic celebrates first anniversary

Digital magazine covering pandemic celebrates first anniversary


About a week after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Detroit resident and journalist Andrea Sachs became the founder and editor of a new digital magazine, covering the pandemic from all angles – political, psychological, cultural, financial. , medical and culinary.

Sachs, a Manhattan resident and Time magazine reporter for nearly 30 years, created The initiate because she was “determined to reach readers like her who were sheltering in place,” according to a press release. “The name Insider has a double meaning: readers are stuck inside, but they also know about it.”

Sachs grew up in Detroit and attended Ann Arbor Law School. She received her BA and JD from the University of Michigan.

“I have deep connections in the community,” she said. “So a lot of the people who wrote for me were Detroiters.”

The Insider aims to educate people about the spread of the pandemic. The post’s original readers were friends and family of Sachs, but due to word of mouth and social media, its audience has grown by around 42% in the past 30 days.

The staff at Sachs are “a changing bunch of characters,” she said. “I’ve had dozens of people at one time or another.”

Not only were many Insider contributors from the Detroit Diaspora, but stories around the Detroit subway were featured in the magazine as well.

Detroit District Attorney David Fink wrote a cover story on defend the city of Detroit in its post-election dispute with President Trump, while Wayne State Medical School professors Dr Anthony Shields and his wife Dr Fayth Yoshimura told Insider about their experiences participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials.

“It really surprised me that people come to me to write,” Sachs said. “I think people are on their minds right now because of the pandemic and I think people want to talk about it.”

Three of the contributors even wrote stories about their own personal experiences contracting COVID-19.

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The post covered stories about those who survived COVID-19, as well as obituaries for those who didn’t. Coverage also included first-person accounts of vaccine trials, exclusive photo trials, remote workplace sagas, and pandemic yoga.

“It’s interesting that a lot of the people who write for me are either current or retired journalists,” Sachs said. “But there are also a lot of very talented writers who are in other professions who have dabbled in journalism during this time and they have done a great job.”

As a longtime print journalist, working on this digital publication encouraged Sachs to appreciate the benefits of online journalism.

Sachs practiced employment law in Washington, DC, before changing course and earning a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University and entering the magazine business.

While she was preparing for her graduate degree in English Literature, the pandemic struck, forcing Sachs to give up and focus on publishing The Insider.

Sachs said she didn’t think she would have to make that choice of ending publication anytime soon, because “pandemic issues will last a long time,” she said. “I think we are all set for a lifestyle change for a while.”

For more information on The Insider, visit

Contact Nour Rahal at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ nrahal1.

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Amanda P. Whitten

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