Covering East Portland as a community, not an ‘issue’

Annie Anderson
Engagement and Inclusion Manager
Public Insight Network

Editor’s note: We’re highlighting the work being done in partner newsrooms that have received Public Insight Network engagement funding. |  Follow the progress of our coverage as we go.


 

Public Insight Journalist at OPB

Amanda Peacher, public insight journalist at OPB, has been using the PIN to tell the stories of East Portland’s residents. (Photo by Michael Clapp)

Amanda Peacher, Oregon Public Broadcasting‘s public insight journalist, is leading a project on the East Portland neighborhood of the state’s capital. She is heading out to the neighborhood to tell the stories of its residents, and at the same time, she’s curating a multimedia component of the project online.

As part of the project, residents share what they like and dislike about their neighborhood, in part through photos and videos, many of which become posts on OPB’s East Portland Tumblr site. OPB is also planning a radio series focused on East Portland’s children, which will include four broadcast stories that follow East Portland kids.

Amanda answered a few questions about the project.

What’s your role in this project?

I’m heading it up — it’s a very PIN-sourced project!

A PIN source submitted photo of East Portland. (Photo curtesy of Adam Simmons)

A PIN source submitted this photo of East Portland to help tell the story of the neighborhood. (Photo courtesy of Adam Simmons | OPB)

Where did the idea for this topic come from? 

East Portland is a part of the community that’s often talked about as an issue, but not as a community. There are a number of challenges facing this part of the city — a lack of sidewalks, many potholes, an unstable transportation infrastructure, a lack of grocery stores — but East Portland is also rich in diversity and community. We wanted to get beyond the issues and highlight what it’s like to live in this part of the city and what residents like or dislike about their neighborhood.

What communities or groups are you focused on engaging with? Why? 

We strove to find a mix of voices, so we showed up at a number of neighborhood locations and events to interview people on the spot about East Portland. We set up a story booth at the local library and the community center, and sent a roving team of interns and volunteers to events like a popular neighborhood parade, Sunday bike day and a community fair.

OPB's East Portland project: http://eastportland.tumblr.com/

To see OPB’s East Portland project, visit the Tumblr site at: http://eastportland.tumblr.com/

How are you planning to engage with your audience around this topic? What do you think they’ll find compelling about these stories?

Now that we’ve compiled a number of stories on the East Portland Tumblr site, we’re sending the link around broadly to community members to encourage them to submit their own stories. We’re also highlighting the Tumblr site broadly on social media.

What are you hoping the impact of this project will be?

We’re hoping to highlight the diverse voices in this community and also provide a forum for them to tell their stories. 

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Annie Anderson Engagement and Inclusion Manager
Public Insight Network

Annie Anderson has the privilege of working with PIN partners around the country, providing training, coaching and support. In the last two years she has focused on diversifying and growing the Network. She specializes in community engagement opportunities and counseling.

While earning a master’s in public policy from the Humphrey School, she yearned for journalism by the people that could inform and respond to policy. Enter PIN: journalistic civic agency at its finest. She deeply believes that everyone is an expert and knows their own experience better than anyone else.