Mission Statement

Durham Beat is a hybrid online & print magazine covering local arts and culture in Durham and across North Carolina. Dedicated to the cause of supporting local, the Beat was founded to give voice to the area’s burgeoning local culture, its purveyors, practitioners, and dreamers. Operated by a predominantly Durham-based staff, the goal of Durham Beat is to provide a platform to showcase the vibrancy and diversity of our local culture in a meaningful and impactful way. Our audience is us.

As a hybrid magazine, Durham Beat maintains an online presence (durhambeat.com), as well as a print publication taking the form of a single-story zine called The Owlephant (named for the Beat logo & mascot).

The Editor of Durham Beat, Matia Guardabascio, is a long-time music journalist and magazine editor. Raised in the journalistic practice of experience-based reporting and practiced in the style of Gonzo Journalism, The Editor (her preferred moniker) is dedicated to the practice of participatory journalism and storytelling.

The narrative voice is at the heart of the Beat’s mission. Adhering to the participatory style and practice of Gonzo Journalism, Durham Beat is designed to embrace the subjective experience. Simply put, this style of journalism embraces the first-person narrative and encourages writers to be involved in the stories they write. Through the subjective approach to reporting, the writer’s aim is not only to construct a riveting personal narrative, but to recreate the experience of being there.

At the Beat, we embrace our individual voices, personalities, and life experiences. As journalists we have an ethical commitment to truth. By embracing the narrative voice and committing ourselves to owning our words, we create not only our own individual narratives, but a larger, collective narrative of the creative spirit living right here, right now in Durham, in North Carolina, and in the American South.