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Archive for August 30th, 2012

Oakland Voices correspondents (from left) Michael Holland, Edward Cervantes, Debora Gordon and Katrina Davis discuss their stories Wednesday evening with Christopher Johnson in the Oakland Tribune community newsroom.

I hope to see more community engagement projects like Oakland Voices.

At many of our Digital First Media newsrooms, we organize networks of people already blogging in the community and offer to help people launch blogs. Oakland Voices, a project of the Oakland Tribune, trains and pays people to tell the stories of communities in the East Bay area.

I led a writing workshop Wednesday for seven community correspondent/bloggers from Oakland Voices Wednesday at the Tribune’s new community newsroom in downtown Oakland. I’ll be speaking briefly this evening at a reception to celebrate the opening of the downtown newsroom.

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson, a former NPR reporter and producer, directs the project, funded by a grant from the California Endowment. Martin Reynolds, Digital First regional engagement editor, is executive director of the project, a partnership with the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. This is the second group to go through the nine-month project, which started in 2010.

The correspondents are highly motivated to tell the stories of their communities, neighborhoods in East Oakland, Christopher said.

“They feel almost to a person that Oakland is getting a bad rap,” he said. “They know a different city than they are reading about, seeing on TV.” (more…)

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