So often, local news can be about all the things that are negative in a community: crime, poverty, a lack of (fill in the blank — affordable housing, healthy food options, etc.). But deficits and problems are only one part of any community’s story. Communities like Germantown are also rich with assets — historical treasures, civic and arts organizations, local businesses, informal networks and online groups, and most of all, residents with their unique stories and experiences.
We are launching the Germantown Info Hub in response to a research study and a participatory workshop where residents told us how they imagined a better relationship with media. Through focus groups, interviews, and workshops, we learned Germantowners wanted two things: 1) a hub to facilitate connections between existing groups and to help reach residents who were not already connected; and 2) better relationships with local media to improve narratives told about Germantown by outsiders.
How will it work?
With support from Temple University and through the leadership of a community advisory group, the Germantown info hub will work to strengthen the local communication network, and circulate information and stories within it. This may include a weekly text message newsletter to share announcements and interact with residents (Text “Hub” to 1–215–716–1339 to sign up, you can stop anytime), as well as face to face, print, and online outreach. The Info Hub will also collaborate with media partners, including WHYY and Resolve Philadelphia as well as hyperlocal outlets like G-town Radio, to share ideas and to host conversations about reporting they do about Germantown.
We hope to share lessons learned in case they may benefit other communities and cities, and we plan to share research along with the stories and info the project generates. We’d love to hear your ideas and input! Email us at: gtown.infohub (at) gmail.com
Who are we?
Letrell Crittenden (Jefferson University)
Marc Lamont Hill (Temple University)
Andrea Wenzel (Temple University)
Community advisory group: