A View from the Field: Unearthing Racism 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.
- Vice President of Cultural Strategy Collette Watson and Media 2070 Director Alicia Bell took part in the panel discussion “Media Reparations: Reckoning and Justice for People of Colour” at the Canadian Association of Black Journalists’ RISE conference.
- Alicia and News Voices: Colorado Manager Diamond Hardiman gave a presentation to the newsroom at KUNC: Greeley (Community Radio for Northern Colorado). The talk located journalism within a broader history of racialized harm and explored possible solutions for transformation.
- Diamond hosted meetings with the Latinx Voices: Colorado working group, which is mapping out what it wants local news to look like in 2022. Participants discussed the tools they need to organize and considered what it means to honor their elders and their youth when dreaming up solutions for the future of journalism.
- News Voices: New Jersey Manager Vanessa Maria Graber participated in the WHYY event “Neighbors & Newsrooms Summit: Building Collaborations That Better Inform and Engage South Jersey”.
- In collaboration with allies, Vanessa Maria helped organize the workshop series “Transforming Journalism Beyond ‘Diversity,’” which was open to journalists, media-makers, news-and-information leaders and media activists based in New Jersey or North Carolina. The workshops gave participants tools to challenge oppression in their lives and their organizations.
- In an episode of Free Press Live, Vanessa Maria interviewed Policy Counsel Leo Fitzpatrick and MediaJustice’s Brandon Forester about the launch of the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which is providing a monthly discount to millions of people struggling to afford internet access. Congress mandated the benefit, which Free Press Action helped shape, as part of the December stimulus bill.
- In a subsequent episode of Free Press Live, Collette spoke with fellow Media 2070 co-founder Joseph Torres, Free Press’ senior director of strategy and engagement, about how anti-Blackness in the media helped suppress the true story of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
- To mark the massacre’s 100th anniversary, Alicia, Collette and Joseph hosted the briefing “Newsrooms and Black Truths,” which explored how Tulsa’s media fueled the violence and worked to erase it from the city’s collective memory. The call — which underscored the urgent need for media reparations — also featured two Black journalists working in Tulsa: Tulsa Star Executive Editor Timantha Norman and Black Wall Street Times Associate Editor Deon Osborne. Watch the video and check out Joseph’s in-depth explainer on the massacre to learn more.