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.
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.