|Robin Kemp at her home office in Forest Park, Ga. (Washington Post photo by Kevin Liles)|
The same day Georgia's Clayton News laid off reporter Robin Kemp in April, the suburban Atlanta journalist started her own news website, The Clayton Crescent. That dedication to covering local news catapulted her into the international spotlight during the election and underscored the importance of local journalism, Reis Thebault reports for The Washington Post.
Kemp, 56, "was the only journalist to watch all 21 hours of Clayton County’s marathon tabulation of absentee votes, from about 9 a.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday," Thebault reports. "During that span, a record number of absentee ballots helped Biden close the statewide gap with Trump. And it was votes from Clayton County — the heart of the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis’s old district — that pushed Biden into the lead" and helped him flip Georgia blue for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Through Twitter and Facebook Live, Kemp kept followers updated on ballot-counting and on Republican observers. People began to pay attention. "When she set out that morning, Kemp had just a couple hundred Twitter followers and less than $2,000 in a GoFundMe she started in April. By the next day, she was at well over 10,000 followers and dollars," Thebault reports.