The Alhambra Source was one of five innovative journalism school partnerships from around the country that the media and technology blog 10,000 Words identified this week. It was recognized as a project where "USC professors join Alhambra citizens to produce local news." The honor, coming seven months after we launched, means a lot to us.
But there are actually many more individuals from USC and Alhambra involved in the project than that description covers — and they all contribute to what makes this site unique. We have a team of USC Annenberg Communication doctoral students from the Metamorphosis team who are researching civic engagement and storytelling networks in Alhambra. For three years now, they have run focus groups, conducted surveys, and met with local leaders. (More information on the research insights from the project can be found here.) Dozens of other students from public relations to business to, of course, journalism, have gotten involved. I'm the managing editor of the Alhambra Source and am neither a professor nor a resident of Alhambra, but a journalist and staff member at USC.
In my perspective, while this committed university partnership is crucial, the most meaningful contributors to the Alhambra Source so far have been residents. For the most part they volunteer their efforts for the project. Our community contributor and youth feed teams are extraordinary: they range from engineers to stay-at-home moms to mechanics to students and in age from 14 to 60 plus. Their varied voices and backgrounds enable the Alhambra Source to represent this diverse and dynamic city in a way that no professional newsroom (or a reporter such as myself) could.
If you would like to get involved with the Alhambra Source, we'd like to hear from you! We meet monthly, and meetings include a delicious pot luck dinner. Write me at [email protected] or post a comment below.