Listening Post Collective MENU
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Choose a Community

Which neighborhoods or populations in your community are covered by the media in a one dimensional way or not at all? Which areas are accustomed to journalists parachuting in, extracting a few quotes, and then leaving? These are the neighborhoods that most need news they can use, sustained engagement, and a platform to voice concerns, needs, and goals.

Tactics

  • Research a community: Take a look at a map of the area you’re interested in. Note defining features like parks, schools, restaurants and bars, main avenues, community venues, places of worship, transport hubs, health clinics, grocery stores, and libraries you’d like to check out. Identify local organizations, activists, charities, meetings and community events. Check out local government websites and social media (twitter, facebook, instagram) to get familiar with local leaders, their thoughts, and their initiatives.
  • Identify local leaders. Think broadly, everything from a city council member to a barber and trusted organizations in the community. Let them know you’d like to stop by and say hello and learn more about information needs in the community.
  • Question your own motivation. Take time to establish relationships with people in the community who share your vision and who can confirm that there is a real need for such a project. If there’s an existing project with similar goals, ask how you can support their work first, before exploring your own ideas.

In Action

Eltimpano bymadeleinebair

Oakland, California

For many immigrants in the US, the feelings of fear, confusion, and misinformation are constant. In Oakland, one in five residents speaks Spanish at home, and a growing number speak indigenous Mayan languages. Yet there are few dedicated local news and information sources in Spanish that can answer their questions. And while immigrant communities and immigration policy are a source of countless stories for English language media, very little is conveyed to immigrants themselves.


Acknowledging this imbalance, Oakland native Madeleine Bair began to identify community spaces in Oakland; churches, libraries, laundromats, and restaurants where the Latino community was sharing information. She heard enough to know that there was a reason to do some targeted listening and understand what issues are important to Latino immigrants, what tools and sources they use for reliable information, and what challenges they face in getting information that helps them make decisions and take action in their neighborhood and city.

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