A View from the Field: Fighting Anti-Blackness in the Media
A View from the Field is an ongoing feature that highlights the efforts of Free Press’ team of organizers and advocates.
Once a month, we provide updates from the field as staffers work alongside our amazing allies and activists to create a more just and equitable media system.
- Co-CEO Jessica J. González took part in the Ouano Foundation’s “Global Leaders on Digital Human Rights” summit. Other participants included Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa and MacArthur Fellow Safiya Noble.
- Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights Nora Benavidez recorded a plenary fireside chat for the LTX Connect Conference. The conversation explored disinformation targeting Latinx communities.
- Vice President of Cultural Strategy Collette Watson took part in a Los Angeles gathering on race, voting, politics and the media hosted by BLD PWR. She shared information about Free Press’ Media 2070 project, which is celebrating its second anniversary this month.
- Collette also presented the Media 2070 documentary Black in the Newsroom at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and at the Detroit Black Film Festival, where it won best documentary short. The powerful film, which Collette directed, explores anti-Blackness in the media through the story of a talented young journalist who experiences systemic racism at The Arizona Republic.
- Program Manager Diamond Hardiman facilitated the session “Media Reparations and Moving Forward” at the Colorado Media Project’s Advancing Equity in Local News convening. The gathering featured presentations from local journalists, national experts, community members and funders.
- Diamond and Media 2070 Campaign Manager Venneikia Williams gave a presentation for Professor Allissa V. Richardson’s “Reporting Race & Justice” class at USC. Diamond and Venneikia screened Black in the Newsroom and made Black “future headline” zine covers to help students imagine a world where anti-Blackness no longer defines newsrooms. Diamond and Venneikia also discussed some Free Press projects, like the Black Voices and Latinx Voices community groups in Colorado and the Media 2070 campaign calling on news outlets to care for Black journalists and communities.
- News Voices Director Vanessa Maria Graber took part in the session “Reimagining Journalism: Taking Action” at the Lenfest Institute’s Reimagining Philadelphia Journalism Summit. Vanessa Maria’s presentation focused on how news outlets can organize community meetings to find out what their audiences really want.
- Senior Director of Journalism Policy Mike Rispoli spoke at a University of Vermont event about ways to sustain local news. Mike discussed Free Press Action’s fight to pass the Civic Info Bill and establish the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium, which funds innovative projects focused on meeting community-information needs and boosting civic engagement. The campaign to pass the Civic Info Bill is documented in a new Free Press Action case study.