What is Scoop?
Scoop is pure community paper! The term pure refers to the fact that the information in Scoop comes directly from the community. Our columnist and contributors are members of the community, who are directly impacted by the negatives and positive attributes of our communities and share their information in an effort to make an impact. With that said, the mission of Scoop is to provide a platform for our columnists to discuss the issues of Today, while emphasizing positive aspects of our Communities… our goal is to emphasize that for every Obstacle and Challenge Our Communities face, we can Achieve and Succeed… and Scoop is here and will be there to educate our communities, provide information and guidance when needed; share Success stories and Congratulate and Celebrate with our Communities.
As the publisher… Sherri is there, in the office in the streets, at programs and events, working with the Community to share our stories, and ensure that we, “We” tell our stories.
In the past two years, Scoop is evolved and has transitioned from a newspaper to a media platform; hosting the Inside Scoop and working with communities in Philadelphia (and surrounding counties), Chester, Camden, NJ and Wilmington, DE. We are digital and in print and we have an App that can be purchased on any smart phone platform. Scoop has repositioned itself as a viable community media platform and partner, sharing local and national news that is needed for our communities.
Background and History
Sherri Darden’s life story is what you would consider a definite Cinderella Story... Our publisher is a product of the City of Philadelphia, who grow up throughout the City primarily in North Central Philadelphia in Johnson Homes projects and 24th & Berks Streets. Sherri Darden is the product of Philadelphia, her family lived in several areas throughout the city, from Mt. Airy, to West and East Oak Lane, Germantown and North Philadelphia. She has lived the trials and tribulations of growing up in the City and has loved and has lost... And, in-spite of all that she saw and lived growing up in Philadelphia, she is a success story... She brings her value of life and knowledge of Life's Challenges, but also its triumphs to Scoop each and every day... And, these things are what prompted her to take on Mr. Driver's legacy to continue to promote the "Good" in our communities.
At the age of 26, after losing her grandmother, Sherri was blessed with a part time job, working with Scoop's Founder, Sonny Driver, for over 20 years. Brought together by Faith and Destiny, Sonny Driver spent over 20 years mentoring Sherri. When he became ill in 2018, she pledged to continue his legacy "The Legacy of Scoop USA Newspaper..."
Sherri's began working with Mr. Driver in 1996 as a typist. Shortly after, the Typesetter left the office, leaving Sherri and Mr. Driver to buckle down and get the paper to press. As a novice, it was not an easy time, and the paper even made it to press a day late a time or two... but we made it through, just the two of us. After the initial years of learning to typeset there were many other staff changes, and Sherri remained on staff as a part time employee. She worked as the typesetter and bookkeeper and did whatever was needed. As the years passed and Mr. Driver became older, he did less and less of the typesetting himself, instead he would watch and provide instructions. As you can imagine, during this time Sherri and Mr. Driver had become very close and, in fact, she viewed him as a surrogate father...
In November 2017, Sherri Darden took the helm of the city of Philadelphia’s second oldest Black Community Newspaper. After working for Scoop for over 20 years under the direction of the Founding Publisher, Sherri Darden, purchased Scoop and committed to continuing the legacy of educating our communities during Mr. Driver’s last days.
Employment and Education
IIn addition to working at the Defender, Sherri worked many part-time jobs. She was a cashier at Shoprite Supermarkets and Walmart, a private typist for attorneys and students. She was introduced to Sonny Driver in August 1996 because he needed a Typist, and she remained on staff as a part-time worker, working every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until she became the owner. While working at the Defender and part-time hours at Scoop, Sherri attended Community College as an Accounting Major. She had to start and stop several times because she had a hard time juggling parenting, work, and in-person classes, so she transferred her credits to the University of Phoenix. Sherri enrolled in classes at the University of Phoenix in an accelerated program that met in person initially, and eventually, Sherri transferred to online to complete her studies. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Business Management and enrolled in the LaSalle University Human Capital Management Master’s Degree program. She graduated in May 2015 with her Master’s Degree in Human Capital Management.
Articles and Videos
6abc Building It Better Together Town Hall - Black Wealth,
New publisher of Philly’s Scoop USA keeps a black-owned newspaper going with faith and own funds https://www.inquirer.com/philly/news/scoop-usa-sherri-horsey-darden-black-owned-newspaper-20180726.html
Primetime Power Show | Interview: Sherri Darden | Show # 221 | 122718 https://primetimepowershow.com/primetime-power-show-interview-sherri-darden-show-221-122718/
Sherri Darden, Scoop publisher
Thank you all for reading and supporting Scoop through the years, and through this very difficult time. As we all know, the city introduced new restrictions which took effect on November 20, 2020, and I believe it is important that we inform our readers of our status. During the first closure, we did not print any papers. Due to financial constraints coupled with the need to stay in business and to remain a community resource, we shifted from printing to a strictly digital platform, The digital platform met our needs during the crisis and provided an opportunity for Scoop to expand and now we have two weekly papers. The digital paper was great and cost-effective, but it just was not Print.
People often believe that information is free, and for those who believe that media and newspapers are free, I must inform you that, that idea is a true fable. Scoop, while it is a community paper, is a business and we must pay production and delivery costs as well as many of the regular expenses that all businesses incur including rent, gas, electricity, and the internet. In addition, our income is generated not through information but through ad sales, which pretty much disappeared in March 2020.
To read more visit SCOOPUSA Media, November 24, 2020, page 3
Beginning this week, the 100 Black Men and Scoop Program will kick off. To date, we have 15 mentees who will begin their business venture, as Scoop USA Media sales partners. This program is a fundraising initiative that will enable the mentees to earn money to help offset costs for upcoming trips and programs, while introducing the values of entrepreneurship.
As many of you know, in August 2019 Scoop changed its business plan and went from a FREE Community newspaper to a paid weekly publication. That transition was not a choice or a preference, but was a NECESSITY!!! Scoop needed to reestablish a firm financial foundation that could help us meet our goals of being a community partner; a partner who not only provides information and resources, but also is a partner in the sense that we are working with the community to deal with the many issues that we all face... communication barriers, educational barriers, violence, and poverty to name a few.
To read more visit SCOOPUSA Media, February 28, 2020, page 3
As we approach the end of 2019, it is important to acknowledge our accomplishments and state our goals for 2020...
2019 brought a year of organization, determination and self observation for Scoop... we had to look at the newspaper, its values, goals an objectives and make some very drastic (but necessary) changes to the business model and the definition of what Scoop is and what we want Scoop to be for our Community... With that said, we changed from a FREE newspaper to one that charges a fee.
A fee that is meager compared to other publications, but while small—this fee will pay publication costs, and will help the community; because a large portion of the $1.00 fee to purchase the Scoop, will go directly to the distributors. Ultimately providing Scoop with an opportunity to assist in developing the economy by helping our distributors become entrepreneurs. So, a distributor can be a teenager, an adult or even a senior... it can be anyone who needs to earn some extra cash one to two days a week; and you can make anywhere from $25 to $400 per week... Easy as pie...
So, this is my update for our readers and supporters. Today is the day before my 2nd Anniversary of owning Scoop and its been a real interesting ride, to say the least. We have transitioned from a print only paper to a fully functioning digital/print media platform that also has dabbled and will be doing more video and audio media in the upcoming year.
The last four months have been the most difficult of the transition, culminating with my having the need to ask for public support to establish a firm foundation for this media platform. The public was asked to pay small fee of $1.00 to purchase the Scoop weekly. $.60 of this goes to Scoop for production cost and the other $.40 goes to the establishment or sales representatives who have graciously agreed to sell Scoop or have it in their stores or newsstands. To date, selling the paper has be trying, with many people stealing papers from distributors and also taunting them stating the paper is free. So, I need to make it clear, that if SCOOP is to remain a staple in this community, the community must support the paper by purchasing a copy.
Now, what I learned during this change, is that many people really didn’t support the newspaper. Even politicians asked that the paper no longer be delivered to their offices. They plainly stated that if they had to pay for the paper they did not want it... while at the exact same time they were sending press releases for Scoop to share their work and goodwill with the Community. There were many senior homes and programs that said they could/would not purchase the paper for their clients. Imagine, hearing this information when you are in debt from publishing a paper for FREE to people who--when asked for help, say that they would prefer not to have it... I hope you can see or feel the pains that went through my heart. So, decisions had to be made and since many didn’t support the newspaper, it is not distributed to them. As for Seniors, I decided to continue to provide the paper to those seniors for as long as possible.
So many readers, withdrew themselves from the equation, but there are still many people who do read the paper and we still have an avid readership, especially in the surrounding counties, Chester and Delaware.
Read more "Here's the Scoop", SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 3
As we approach Black History month, we find it imperative that we share the Editorial that was published in the first African American newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, outlining the importance of Black Media and the true need for and meaning of FREE Press, as well as why we need to support and patronize the Black Press.
This editorial was taken directly from the Freedom's Journal. It was written on March 16, 1827. Please read these excerpts, and make note that while the number of years have changed, we still face many of the same problems that we had in 1827. In order to be successful, we must stop this cycle once and for all, and must come together.
See more "Freedom's Journal" SCOOP USA Media, Friday, January 31, 2020 page 2
Many of our readers are familiar with the Scoop story and its history and its importance to the Black Community. As with many print newspapers, we too, have and are struggling to stay in business and continue to be a resource for our community,
Last year this time I took a Leap of Faith with hopes that I could continue the Scoop Legacy and that I could help our community understand the value of Black Media and fact that we must tell our stories, if we want to them told properly. Well, to say the least, I have not been successful. While I attend many events and speak on behalf of all media platforms and encourage people to read, write and support Black media. I don’t think my efforts have helped change the narrative or even initiate the conversation.
I work day in and day out in a primarily one person office and attend events, edit and publish and sometimes deliver this weekly paper and for some reason, everyone wants to be in the paper, but no one... wants to advertise to support the paper or help keep Black media alive. In a time when we need to have our own voices, it is unbelievable. Mainstream media, makes loads of money off of its efforts to diminish the value and image of black and brown people... plastering deaths and negative news at every opportunity possible. Even when there is good news the 1-3 seconds that is devoted to telling those stories is nice but never to the extent of those damaging stories. Yet, we will call and support those venues and gladly share our news with them. I am not writing this update to bash or belittle any venue because the reality is that each of us has a role and in order to be effective we each have to be here to provide that balance. When community forums, go out of business the balance is shifted and you no longer have a variety of news and information, you just have one stream of information which may be right or wrong... but who will question if there is only one.
I say all of this to basically say that I have tried to overcome the obstacles of being a minority newspaper and have supported all those that I have been able to support over the past 20 months; with the goal of remaining a FREE paper that is funded through advertisements. After 20 months, of juggling sales and literally begging for support, I have come to the point in which I have to think of Scoop as a business and not a community initiative... In order to stay in business the paper cannot and will no longer be a FREE newspaper.
Effective the week of August 12, 2019 there will be a .60 cents per paper surcharge. That is $15 for a 1/2 bundle 25 papers and $30 for a full bundle of 50 papers. This fee will pay all costs associated with printing and distribution. We will still ask and encourage people to advertise and use the platform as a means of communicating with the communities we service. However, those places that would normally have the newspaper for FREE distribution will no longer carry the Scoop. For those who have annual subscriptions the $.60 charge will be added to your rates upon renewal. The new rate for mail subscriptions will include the cost of the paper, as well as postage.
If you wish to subscribe and be a carrier for Scoop Publications, please contact the Scoop office 215-309-3139.
I have struggled, prayed and cried over this decision, and have had to realize that If I don’t request the assistance of our readers this paper will cease to exist, as has many other community papers in the Philadelphia area. Black media is definitely struggling and today we account for less that 10% of the news and information that is covered. As the majority of citizens in this city that is a very sad and incomprehensible fact.
I hope that the community will support and read the Scoop and join in our efforts to help our communities tell our own stories.
Read more Publishers Notes, Scoop USA Media, August 2, 2019
Keeping things in perspective. It is important to look at life and the obstacles and curve balls that are thrown our way and really consider the reasons why “Failure is not an option.” Each and every day we are provided with answers to the questions, why we must keep fighting; why the struggle is real and what is at the end of the rainbow. As I travelled to events this weekend, I was Blessed to be reminded of why it is so important to stay the course and to work toward the betterment of our society.
Lambda Kappa Omega Sorority, Inc.
Crystallites Annual Pancake Breakfast
I started my journey Saturday morning at a Breakfast with the Lamda Kappa Omega Sorority, Inc., Crystallites, a group that was founded by some of my close friends. These women have provided a platform for young ladies which utilizes the principles of the African American sororities and fraternities to teach the young ladies the importance of sisterhood, responsibility and volunteerism, among other things.
The adult members are big sisters to the girls and spend many hours with the young ladies investing time and energy into the development of these grounded young sisters. I was very fortunate to have my daughter enroll in the Crystallites almost five years ago, and I was in awe to see the impact the Crystallites has had on her development. I watched and admired her Saturday as she assisted a younger sister serve customers at their Annual Pancake breakfast at Applebee’s in Jenkintown.
The entire time I was there, I could only think of and be thankful that my daughter is a part of this group and that she had gotten me up and out to experience the Breakfast... This experience helped me to answer some of the questions that were weighing on my heart. It has been said, “And a child will lead you.. As I sat and watched, this adage was reinforced and really helped me understand the need for us to keep trying and working to ensure we touch the lives of as many people as possible. We have to teach adults and kids and help them understand the value of Unity. Its amazing, how strangers can come together and become a family.
Thank you Lambda Kappa Alpha and the Cyrstallites for all you do!!! If you are interested you can look up Lambda Kappa Omega and the Crystallites at https://2577lko.com
Read More, Scoop USA Media Digital July 5, 2019
I have been told that one thing is certain: Change will come whether you want it or not. And, for Scoop, change has definitely come and it is not by choice, but a necessity.
I am sure many of you have read my monthly updates and are aware of the struggles that I have had trying to communicate the value of BlackMedia and the value of the people who read Scoop every week. There has been some success, and people are starting to recognize the Scoop as an important media source for the Community. But it is still a slow and steady progression. There many times that I find myself juggling, more than I did as a single parent, to make ends meet. Often with no staff and/or a skeleton staff. And, I definitely have bills that I didn’t have this time last year. But I have chalked all this up to a learning experience and the nuts and bolts of owning your own business. While there are definitely some challenges, there are also Win/Wins.
Read more Scoop USA Media, December 7, 2018
Over the past seven months, I have tried to write a column at least once a month to share my journey with you, my supporters and Scoop family, as I try to fill the void that was left by Sonny Driver...
To say the least, I knew when this started, that I would never fill his shoes but I would definitely try to do my best to ensure that Scoop flourished.
For the many of you who have read my story, you know that I have been running this paper, on a midnight schedule, working my lifetime, full time job during the day, and at night and on weekends I’m here at Scoop. Well, I am finally understanding the value of giving 100% and I have learned that I definitely cannot give the community my full attention, if I am at work somewhere else... So, my latest lesson has been understanding and accepting the fact, that I need to take a Leap of Faith, and let go, and let God. “Trust and Faith”
Read more Publisher's Notes with Sherri Darden. in of this weeks latest news, and check out ou columnists on Scoop USA Newspaper, June 1, 2018