April 30, 2015

AEJMC Preview: Street newspapers as outlets for new narratives on what it means to be 'poor'

It isn’t too early to start talking about AEJMC programming, is it?

With the national conference a short summer away, I thought I’d offer a bit of information on one of the panels the Community Journalism Interest Group is bringing to San Francisco.

COMJ is co-sponsoring a PF&R panel entitled “Resistance Journalism: Expression, Self-Empowerment, and the Creation of Counternarratives on Poverty Through Community Media.”

Here’s the formal panel description: 

Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with financial need and homelessness. However, news and entertainment media often ignore the lived experiences of those living in extreme poverty or cast them in condescending stereotypes that reinforce dominant ideologies about what it means to be poor, in the process reinforcing and worsening social stratification.

During this panel, scholars and activists will discuss the ways “street newspapers” and similar publications produced by the poor, who are often ignored or marginalized by mainstream media, empower writers to create their own counternarratives about poverty and advocate for change. Street newspapers, also sometimes called homeless newspapers, are urban newspapers generally written and distributed by current or former homeless individuals. 

Panelists include:

  • Lisa "Tiny" Gray-Garcia, founder of POOR Magazine, a poor people/indigenous people-led grassroots organization developed to provide media access to and advocate for people in poverty.
  • Bob Offer-Westort, editor of Street Sheet.
  • Paula Lomazzi, CEO of the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee. The committee publishes a street newspaper called the Homeward Street Journal.
  • Dr. Cindy Vincent, assistant professor at Salem State University. Dr. Vincent’s research focuses on representations of class in the media and the role of participatory media in civic engagement and social justice.
Your humble blog post author will be the panel moderator.

I hope you will be able to join us for this interesting and important panel discussion, which is co-sponsored by COMJ and the Cultural/Critical Studies Division.

Panel Date: Sunday, Aug. 9

Panel Time:  11 a.m.

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