Kristine Villanueva for Resolve Philly

By/
Kristine Villanueva

A little bit about the work I do...

Kristine Villanueva is the project editor for Resolve Philly’s initiative Equally Informed, which addresses the city’s digital and information divide through a personalized Q&A text service and a community-powered print newsletter. Census data shows that huge swaths of the city are without reliable internet connection. For Philadelphians to live and thrive in the city, they need steady access to news and information that doesn’t rely on the internet –– that’s why Equally Informed relies heavily on community partnerships in order to reach people most affected by this issue.

Along with her teammates at Resolve, Villanueva launched a network of residents called “Info Hub Captains” who are heavily involved in their communities and keenly listen to the information needs of their neighbors. Through Info Hub Captains, the Equally Informed team can identify information needs and address them through the Equal Info Q&A text line, collaborative reporting by Resolve’s Broke in Philly partners and the print newsletter. Through storytelling, Info Hub Captains can better reflect communities who have historically been marginalized by mainstream media. Villanueva works with Info Hub Captains to shape ideas into reported stories and to provide actionable information. By demystifying the reporting process, promoting transparency about the news industry and connecting communities with local media, Villanueva hopes to transform the relationship that residents have with local journalists. 

Villanueva’s love for community engagement journalism started in Newark, New Jersey where she studied journalism and worked as a communications associate at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, assisting with events and community outreach. She honed her craft at the CUNY graduate school of journalism, studying engagement journalism. Her practicum project featured a print zine with a texting component for feedback. While doing her work at Resolve, she is often reminded of her humble graduate school project and how it created a budding interest that later turned into a dream job. She never forgets her roots as a first generation Filipina-American and her cumulative experience as a reporter and editor in New York City, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. 

Besides black coffee, Villanueva is fueled by a desire to contribute to journalism’s role in pushing for equity both in and out of newsrooms. She and her team often spends time productively dreaming of ways  journalists can better engage and equip Philly residents to be civically involved in the city. They will continue building more inclusive information ecosystems for Philadelphians. In the future, Villanueva hopes that she can expand Equally Informed to include other places around the country facing similar challenges surrounding the digital divide.