OKLAHOMA CITY – Students at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and staff at nonprofit news organization Oklahoma Watch have launched a mobile-video project entitled, “Talk With Us: Poverty in Oklahoma City Neighborhoods,” at talkwithus.net.
This collaboration creates a virtual conversation between low-income residents and public leaders about a wide range of issues facing some of the city’s struggling areas. About 30 virtual conversations are posted online, along with data and multimedia elements. Additional videos are being recorded.
OU students and Oklahoma Watch reporters recorded short videos using mobile devices in northeast, south and west Oklahoma City, asking low-income residents to describe pressing concerns in their neighborhoods and lives. The videos are then shown to government officials or community leaders and their responses are videotaped.
The project is made possible by a grant from the Online News Association Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. The fund is supported by the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation. The grant is one of 12 awarded nationwide.
“We are excited about the opportunity for Gaylord College students to participate in a project that engages them with real-world issues that matter to Oklahoma City residents,” said David Craig, the college’s associate dean. “Doing these videos is exposing them to a broader, more diverse community than they find on campus.”
David Fritze, executive editor of Oklahoma Watch, said, “The project is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the day-to-day challenges that people face in low-income communities and to amplify their voices among public officials and leaders who make the decisions that affect the residents’ lives.”
In conjunction with the mobile-video project, the organizations are presenting a public Q&A forum on April 16 to discuss challenges in low-income neighborhoods in south Oklahoma City. The “Talk With Us” forum will be held from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, at the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church gymnasium, 123 S.W. 25th St., Oklahoma City.
Fritze will moderate a discussion with Oklahoma City Councilwoman Meg Salyer, Oklahoma City Public Schools Board Member Gloria Torres, and Attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez about issues they see and deal with in south Oklahoma City. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to email@example.com and come with questions.