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How a Local Journalist is Trying to Better Understand and Serve Oakland's Latino Immigrant Community

October 4, 2018

By Joseph Lichterman

Earlier this year, journalist Madeleine Bair traveled around Oakland, Calif. with an oversized golden microphone. Bair interviewed dozens of members of the Latino immigrant community about the ongoing housing crisis in the Bay Area.

The interviews were part of the first pilot project of  El Tímpano, a local news project Bair launched to improve journalism for Latino immigrants in Oakland.

“By and large, residents were eager to have a platform to share their stories and their concerns,” she told me.

This week in Solution Set, we’re going to look deeper at El Tímpano, the nine-month research process it went through to learn more about the community’s information needs, and how it’s trying new ways to provide information.

Solution Set is a weekly report from The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Solutions Journalism Network. Every Thursday, we take an in-depth look at one constructive thing in journalism, share lessons, and point you toward other useful resources.

You can now also get Solution Set delivered each week via text message. I send subscribers our weekly report, plus some added resources and a sneak peek at upcoming issues. You can also ask me questions or share your experiences directly via text. You can sign up by clicking here or by texting SOLUTION to (215) 544–3524.

A few important disclosures first: El Tímpano is a recipeint of a grant from The Community Listening and Engagement Fund, a program co-funded and administered by The Lenfest Institute that provides subsidies to newsrooms to use engagement tools. (I didn’t realize this when Bair and I first spoke!). As part of her work, Bair worked with The Listening Post Collective of Internews, a nonprofit that aims to improve access to information. The Listening Post is also one of the services now eligible for subsidies from CLEF.  El Tímpano, the Listening Post, and my Lenfest Institute colleagues are all reading this for the first time here like you.

Read the complete Listening Post Solution Set.