Celebrating Oakland Voices
The following blog was written by Oakland Voices project coordinator Christopher Johnson. The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights works to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable communities and believes that empowering individuals to speak up about their trials and tribulations in their day-to-day lives is critical in creating lasting change for all.
The Oakland Tribune has a new community project that teaches West Oakland residents to write stories about their neighborhoods. The program is called Oakland Voices and aims to empower West Oakland residents with skills and tools to go into their neighborhoods and report on issues, people, and ideas they think are important. It will be based at the The West Oakland Public Library's Community Media Access Center.
Journalism outfits have been forced to scramble to make themselves relevant in the "media 2.0" universe. Newspapers are today trudging through downsizing and making tough decisions about content delivery strategies. As modern as these concerns are, journalism still depends on the fundamental skills and talents it has always celebrated - investigative curiosity, storytelling, service to public. The fundamentals of good reporting - the pillars of our profession - are indelible. The Oakland Voices project aims to pass on some of those fundamental skills to West Oakland community members.
During the six month project, ten people will be trained as community correspondents. The Tribune's partners at the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education will provide instructors and media professionals to teach participants about the technical, ethical, and creative sides of journalism and reporting. Participants will then work as community reporters - writing stories, creating blog entries, and taking photographs that may get published on the project site and in the Tribune itself.
Oakland Voices is a part time project designed to work with people who have other professional and personal obligations. The project offers a small stipend for all participants.We invite any West Oakland resident of all ages to apply. You do not need a journalism background or media experience to be accepted. Oakland Voices is seeking applicants from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
Although the initial application deadline was March 19, please contact Christopher Johnson, the Oakland Voices project coordinator. 510.273.0210, OaklandVoices@Gmail.com if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a community correspondant.
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