In the past two months, I have been lucky to sit in on four Annenberg noon seminars that have all explored a common theme: how journalism equipped with new media technologies could better serve local communities, and what opportunities new communication technologies have brought to many previously media under-served communities in the Greater Los Angeles area. I was glad to see that even though new media has, to a large extent, facilitated the globalization process and shifted people’s focus to a bigger scope, yet under this globalization context, our local communities are not being ignored but are instead being injected with vitality through the innovative usage of new communication technologies.
This project is under the umbrella of the USC Annenberg Metamorphosis and Intersections project. The project’s early research of the media supply in the area revealed a lack of common storytelling networks that bridge local ethnic groups together, thus leading to a low civic engagement rate in the area. The project thus will focus on building a shared multi-lingual storytelling network for Alhambra‘s diverse ethnic local residents, and hopes to increase the low civic engagement rate in Alhambra and also explore a new model for supplying media in culturally diverse local communities in the United States.
AOL’s Patch.com has committed $50 million to build a nationwide network of hyperlocal news sites. At the seminar, Marcia Parker, the west coast editorial director of Patch.com, claimed that the site is robustly growing and opening more and more branches in many cities, so L.A. is a new battle ground. They are also currently scouting for community reporters who are rooted in L.A.‘s local communities and will bring 100 percent community-flavored news to their site and to their audience.
Through L.A. Public Media Service Radio Bilingue‘s research data, they found out currently in L.A. there are over 1 million minority ethnic groups that are undeserved with news information. They are very aggressively ready to jump into fill this gap with information. Also, they would take a multimedia platform approach to bringing their news and content online and deliver to mobile channels! Talent needed!
The South Los Angeles Report
This one is another USC Annenberg Metamorphosis and Intersections project. This very cool project works on increasing local citizen’s media advocacy to help them produce news for themselves! By conducting workshops in South Los Angeles communities to equip local citizens with basic journalist report skills, the USC South Los Angeles Team has inspired many local residents to produce interesting content for The South Los Angeles Report website. Definitely check out this great piece of video news, What Our Tax Dollars Pay For, produced by South LA resident Delores Kelly after she attended one workshop. It is a fairly raw piece, but you can not miss the authenticity and advocacy power conveyed by it!