By Andrew Conte
People who never had heard of Bridge Pittsburgh Media Partnership walked into the Homewood library Tuesday night, learned about the outreach discussion and ended up staying for more than an hour.
This immediate and long embrace underscores the hunger that local communities have for talking about the media — and for playing an active role in shaping it.
In all, 22 people – including a mix of residents and journalists – discussed the ways the media covers communities and brainstormed ideas about stories, good and bad, that are not being told. Residents talked about the negative coverage of places such as Homewood, Penn Hills and Westinghouse high school, and they asked for more positive stories about the organizations and people doing good work.
For many residents, the event marked a rare chance to break bread with producers, editors and reporters at traditional media outlets and new startups. Many thanks to the journalists who came from KDKA-TV, WESA-FM, the Post-Gazette, Post-Industrial, East End Print, and the New Pittsburgh Courier. And much appreciation for the community leaders who came from the YWCA, Neighborhood Allies and, of course, the Homewood Community Development Collaborative, whose members invited Bridge Pittsburgh into the community.
Most of all, we are grateful for the residents who came out to talk about journalism and who stayed to participate in its future.
Big thanks to Elwin Green and Homewood Nation for hosting the community outreach event, and to Denise Graham and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Homewood branch for providing the space.