CNPA’s Oct. 29 webinar showed  three ways collaborators are creating pathways and recognizing cultures.

Daniela Gerson, an assistant journalism professor at CSU Northridge and co-founder of “Migratory Notes,” provided insights about covering and collaborating with ethnic and participatory media in California.

“Are you reporting for or about immigrant communities in California?” she asked. “How many languages are actually spoken in your newsroom? And how many languages are spoken in the communities that you cover?

How do you prepare yourself to cover all of those communities?”

Gerson mentioned looking at census data, determining which languages are spoken in the community, learning about the demographics in schools, and talking to faith leaders and business people as starting points for reporting on cultures.

She also offered guidance on collaborating with ethnic media outlets on stories to publish separately.

Luis Cruz, director of community and public relations for The San Diego Union-Tribune, discussed the Social Justice Reporting Project, a collaborative effort in the San Diego and Tijuana areas that has six journalists working to feature authentic voices and faces of the racial and social justice movements.

One journalist is covering the quality of life and the conditions faced by workers in foreign owned factories in Tijuana and Baja California, Mexico. One is examining seven moments in Black history in San Diego County and compare that point in history to impacts that exist today. One is interviewing DACA and DACA LGBT recipients and their parents. Another is covering people who joined the migrant caravan from Central America to Tijuana, California Baja California, and stayed there.

A grant from Google is supporting the project. Collaborators and mentors include representatives from the area’s Black, Hispanic and Asian American journalists’ association chapters and San Diego SPJ.

Kathleen Schock, journalism instructor at Fresno City College-The Rampage and host of “Valley Edition” on Valley Public Radio, discussed  how Central Valley Journalists of Color aims to diversify news coverage by bringing up young Black journalists in a pipeline from high school through college or university and into Central California newsrooms.

“We need to acknowledge that journalists of color face unique obstacles and hurdles when it comes to entering the profession and remaining in the profession,” she said. “There’s a perception that their backgrounds, particularly for Latinx students and for Black students and Southeast Asian students, that their identities and their backgrounds are things to be overcome, as opposed to things to be celebrated.”

Funders of the program include the James McClatchy Foundation, the California Endowment and the Institute for Media and Public Trust at CSU Fresno.

View recording here.