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We provide regular updates from the field as staffers work alongside our amazing allies and activists to create a more just and equitable media system.

  • Alex Frandsen, Vanessa Maria Graber and Joseph Torres took part in the “Reimagining Journalism” gathering at the Washington office of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Participants broke into small-group discussions about building networks and transforming how journalism is taught to college students, among other topics.
  • Vanessa Maria, who is also an adjunct professor at Stockton University, participated in the panel discussion “Making Journalism Education More Inclusive and Less Extractive” at the Association in Journalism and Mass Communication conference. The conversation explored efforts to create more accessible journalism programs and, ultimately, a more equitable industry.
  • The Journalism Accountability Watchdog Network (JAWN), which Free Press helps lead, works to hold Philadelphia news outlets accountable for their treatment of both journalists of color and communities of color. At the Online News Association Conference, JAWN led a focus group with journalists of color. Vanessa Maria facilitated questions while all of the JAWN leaders who were present, including Free Press’ Cassie Owens, provided responses.
  • More than 50 journalists, academics and organizers attended an in-person happy hour in Philly that JAWN and Free Press’ Media Power Collaborative co-hosted. A collective of media workers, movement organizers and allied researchers, MPC is working to win policies that will give people the news and information they need to thrive. Alex, Vanessa Maria and Mike Rispoli talked to the crowd about what JAWN and the MPC have accomplished and emphasized the need to forge community as a first step in building power. 
  • The Media Power Collaborative held part two of its series “Building Narrative Power to Change Local News.” Alex, Mike and Vanessa Maria all spoke while Diamond Hardiman and Alisha Wang Saville provided support from behind the scenes. Watch the conversation here
  • Nora Benavidez participated in a panel discussion about the policy reforms required to rein in harmful AI. The conversation, which LTX Connect hosted, touched on the need for data privacy, transparency and bans on discriminatory algorithms.
  • Collette Watson and Free Press alum Alicia Bell led the session “Storytelling for Racial Repair” at the de Beaumont Foundation’s BUILD Health Challenge event in Atlanta.


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