Prof. Leticia Steffen of Colorado State University-Pueblo, represented CPW during a Zoom meeting of the Open Media Foundation this summer. Prof. Steffen, associate dean of the College of Humanities and Arts and Social Sciences and professor in the Department of Mass Communications and Center for New Media, sent back this report:
The Open Media Foundation held a Media Engagement Working Group meeting on Friday, June 5, via Zoom, where representatives from a wide range of community and media groups shared efforts and ideas on how to increase the diversity of media representation in Colorado.
In light of recent George Floyd and BLM demonstrations highlighting the urgent need to address and erase systemic racism in our society, the discussion stressed that diversifying voices in media is imperative.
Representatives from Colorado Press Association, Free Press, the Community Foundation of Boulder, Hearken, Colorado Media Project, Colorado Press Women, KGNU, KUVO and other organizations discussed initiatives aimed at increasing diversity of media representation in Colorado through community engagement.
These efforts include:
- Connecting media outlets that are hiring with more diverse job boards and building a database of diverse job seekers
- Developing partnership with community organizations and media outlets to provide deep-dive coverage of issues of community concern
- Creating storytelling platforms for indigenous communities
- Succession planning, where newsroom owners who are at or beyond retirement age consider community ownership models
- Sharing informational resources across communities to engage citizens
- Creating media programming that showcases underrepresented artists, musicians, etc.
- Encouraging individuals with power positions in the media to be introspective of how they can give access to the next generation of voices
The conversation will continue with the goal of developing action plans to enact change. Anyone interested in participating in future discussions should contact Jordan Guyton of the Open Media Foundation (firstname.lastname@example.org).