Kensington: Community and Journalists Discuss Their Relationship

Journalists and community members discussed the relationship between the neighborhood and the media.
Journalists and community members discussed the relationship between the neighborhood and the media.
Journalists and community members discussed the relationship between the neighborhood and the media.

In the basement of Norris Square Civic Association Child Care Center at 2010 Mascher St., concerned citizens of Kensington sat along side a group of Philadelphia journalists for the Center for Public Interest Journalism’s community conversation.

This public discussion was held so that the individuals in this neighborhood could interact with members of the media and converse about what relationship they have already with the press and what kind they would like to see.

Mike Greenle, a consultant with CPIJ, was a representative at the meeting and helped make the discussion happen. “The Center for Public Interest Journalism wants to have interaction with underserved communities,” said Greenle, “We want to talk to neighborhoods who can really benefit from increased media coverage.”

George Miller, a Temple University journalism professor and former employee of the Philadelphia Daily News, mediated the meeting. Reporters from Axis Philly, the Star Community Newsweekly and the Daily News were in attendance.

Many local community leaders came to express their feelings. Teachers from Nueva Esperanza Academy, social workers, business owners, lifelong Kensington residents and concerned parents shared their opinions on the media and what they felt needed to be covered in their communities.

Topics from the quality of the public schools to community representation were analyzed from the sides of both the citizens and the journalists.

Margarita Padin, a member of the Phair Hiring Coalition, said she did not feel that the Philadelphia media was doing a good enough job covering certain communities.  “The media misrepresents our neighborhood,” said Padin. “There are many things going wrong around here and the media never seems to care to cover it.”

CPIJ wants to strengthen the connection between news organizations and communities that do not receive their fair share of coverage. “CPIJ wants to improve quality and quantity of coverage in less reported-on areas,” said Greenle. “We want to continue to support conversations like these.”