SCT hosts Philly Voices meeting, June 18

Philly Voices, a project aimed at monitoring the representation of African-American men and boys in media coverage, will hold a meeting Monday, June 18, in Temple University’s Annenberg Hall.

The project was arranged by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, as well as the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. It is funded by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement from the Open Society Institute. An initial meeting of the Philadelphia group was held in November, 2011, at 400 N. Broad St.

The meeting, which is by invitation only, will feature a presentation of “Fault Lines: A Reporting Framework for Covering Diverse Communities” from Maynard Institute President Dori Maynard, and a training session with Caesar Andrews, visiting ethics professor at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada.

According to the group, the meeting is intended to give local journalists, academics, and foundation leaders an opportunity to “workshop real stories that hit the mark of showing the totality of black males, as well as dissect those that missed – and why.”

Temple’s School of Communications and Theater recently partnered with the group to host the meeting on the 18th.

The Voices “Back story” is pasted below:

Philly Voices aims to examine the media coverage of African-American boys and men with an eye to ensure that it is accurate, credible, and fully represents their lives. To that end, Philly Voices is hosting a series of conversations bringing together members of the community and journalists with the goal of creating connections that will give journalists more access to this community.

The inaugural Philly Voices conversation took place at the Philadelphia Inquirer in November of 2011, attended by a cross section of African Americans. The group was assembled to offer thoughts and reflections on regional media coverage with an eye toward gauging the gaps and opportunities and to shape the project’s goals. The concept is to accomplish that over the course of the next 18 months in a series of phases:

Phase I: Engage stakeholders and glean insights to guide the discussion

Phase II: Engage area media and philanthropic leaders on best strategies toward enactment

Phase III: Train community members on story pitches, approaching media and partnerships

Phase IV:  Map out a roadmap and commitments to see it to fruition

Phase V: Begin developing new narratives around African-American men and boys

The Voices project was originally piloted in Oakland, Calif., as a partnership between the

Maynard Institute and The Oakland Tribune to empower poor communities of color to become part of the media and tell their own stories. The project was successful in bridging the connection between a newspaper and the community it served. Citizens of West Oakland, the focused region, received training in journalism to report on news from their neighborhoods.

Samples of the work produced can be found at https://www.oaklandvoices.us/. The intent is for Philly Voices to grow to include components of citizen journalism similar to the Oakland iteration.

This project is funded by the Open Society Institute’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement. CBMA was launched to respond to the marginalization of black men and boys in policy and general society, and advocates for equity in education as well as support for low-income black families.

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