Smile Politely

SP Radio Podcast: CU-Citizen Access

Download and listen to this week’s podcast here.

On this episode of Smile Politely Radio, we are joined by Brant Houston and Pam Dempsey from CU-Citizen Access. They discuss their local news project, which is “devoted to investigative and enterprise coverage of social, justice and economic issues in east central Illinois.” In other words, they work on a long-term approach to reporting on poverty issues, rather than focusing on any specific breaking stories. Along the way, they are working to develop community media newsrooms to help residents develop their own media skills.

Topics covered:

  • A general description how the project is funded and how articles get published through various local media outlets
  • The work that is done to develop the skills of journalism students and local residents
  • The specific projects they have covered and how it has evolved over time
  • How CU-Citizen Access fits into the future of journalism, and how nonprofit journalism fits into the general evolution of media
  • Why they believe that connecting to people on a face-to-face level leads to better stories


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