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Cover image for An Oasis in a News Desert — Central Pa Collaborative
Central PA Info Hub

An Oasis in a News Desert — Central Pa Collaborative

Steve Goss
educator & artist
・3 min read

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Project Overview

As newsrooms across America continue to shed employees, many small towns have become news deserts. We seek to address this problem through a website dedicated to expanding resident-driven profiles and narratives that aim to increase the representative and visibility of communities of color and low-income residents.

Project Team

Erika Kitzmiller

Barnard College

Letrell Crittenden

Thomas Jefferson University

Steven Goss

Manhattan College

What we are doing

To date, we have created a website where visitors can read original articles on the community residing in and around Central Pennsylvania. We publish articles weekly and have established submission guidelines for future articles. The website features profiles, which are written by journalists in the area and highlight progressive, diverse thinkers who live and work in Chambersburg Pennsylvania, and first-person narratives, which are written by individuals who live in the area on a topic of their choice. We have highlighted the lives of Lance Walker, a Black barber and school board member; Matt Fogal, a former Republican district attorney who publicly has supported Black Lives Matter; Phillip Whitley, an openly gay man and photographer, and Amer Chaudry, a Muslim business owner and resident who is running for public office. In addition, we have shared first-person narratives from Patty Dolaway, a progressive political organizer and three individuals who describe their lives under COVID-19, Kim Amsley-Camp, a certified nurse midwife; Jennifer Morris, a mother of four including a child with special needs, and Melinda M. Schwenk-Borrell, who drives a medical transport van in the community.

What community support would benefit your project?

If anyone has suggestions about individuals who live or work in Central Pennsylvania who might be interested in writing a first-person narrative or being featured in our profiles, we would love to hear about that on our submissions page. We are also eager to have you spread the word about our work to other news organizations and interested individuals both in the area and beyond.

Link Round Up!

Coming Together May Be Easier Than You Think
The Risks to Drivers who Care for Franklin County’s Most Vulnerable Medical Patients under COVID-19
Franklin County DA Matt Fogal, on Black Lives Matter and New Rules on Policing
For Kristi Rines, Social Justice Advocacy Is an Everyday Experience
Phillip Whitley: Local Artist and Advocate Lives his Truth, while Showcasing the Lives of Others

Discussion (1)

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Janos Farkas

I applaud this project, Steve!