Gainesville, Florida

We don’t know Gainesville’s whole story. We want to find out.


In Fall 2018, The Independent Florida Alligator was one of nine student-run newsrooms chosen to participate in Poynter’s College Media Project. Each participating newsroom was gifted a $3,000 grant to pursue a yearlong news project.

The Alligator decided to ask a simple question: Who is Gainesville?

In the city’s 150th anniversary, we want to explore how Gainesville has grown and developed over the years. We want to show the divides between the East and West sides and define the relationship between the city and UF.

Since starting the project, The Alligator has published more than 30 stories, videos, features, opinion pieces, photographs and held a public forum about who Gainesville was, is and becoming. We’ve covered education, homelessness, student diversity, culture and even pizza.

“Who Is Gainesville?” pushed our staff to look beyond UF’s campus and to hold a mirror up to the city we live in.

Part Two of our “Who Is Gainesville?” forum; held for the public to participate and contribute to painting the portrait that captures Gainesville.