Information delivery through engagement
A little bit about the work I do...
Working at Resolve Philly, I’ve had unique experiences learning about the world of local journalism from a lens centering community engagement and collaboration. Not having a formal journalism background, it’s a world that’s newer to me, and a fascinating thing to dive into in a hands-on way. As an Editorial Associate under the Equally Informed Philly (EIP) initiative, I use these learnings to *ahem* inform my day-to-day work, a lot of which involves keeping a pulse on the information landscape in Philly and uplifting info that centers and serves community needs and experiences.
Alongside Gabriela Rivera, I help support EIP’s social media and the Equal Info Line, among other projects. On our @equalinfo215 social media accounts, we amplify the work of community organizations and partners around Philly, sharing services and events, and bringing this info to our text line. The Equal Info Line is a bi-lingual text message news and information service that allows us to connect with residents and help fill the digital gap present in Philly. We share actionable information from trustworthy, vetted sources, often highlighting the work of our Broke in Philly newsroom partners. We send out text messages about city and state resources, community-led initiatives, and civic engagement opportunities, sharing service journalism as we do it. The text line doesn’t run just one way. We receive questions from our community of subscribers about all aspects of living and working in Philly, and we do the online research to find them a concise and accurate answer, often breaking down complicated and difficult-to-navigate resources. The text line also serves as a community listening tool, where we can hear about issues happening in the community and take these tips to our Broke in Philly newsroom partners to report on. I was able to play a role in building out the text line, learning how to use the tech backend in a way that supports our vision for EIP.
In 2020, we put out two editions of our community-driven newsletter. I helped with content management and layout (I even got the chance to coordinate my first interview, with a youth voter), and this year we’re back at it again. Beyond our information products, like the newsletter and text line, direct community engagement happens in the form of community engagement events called Sound OFFs, volunteering, and tabling. Showing up, talking with, and listening to community members feeds back into the text line and helps shape the information we prioritize sharing.
A new part of our work is a project with Philly’s community access media station PhillyCAM, where we co-host a monthly, hour-long segment with Reclaim Philly, a political action mobilizing organization. Called “Re:Imagine”, on the show we address real issues impacting Philly’s communities and highlight actionable steps and solutions that people can get involved with. We use this platform to amplify voices and perspectives from our text line about the topics of each episode. My work across Equally Informed Philly’s projects intersect in so many different ways, and ultimately comes back to reinforce our work of engaging with communities to better news and information access.