Futuro Media’s CEO and Executive Director Erika Dilday: Journalists Can Help People Tell Their Own Stories by Talking Less, Listening More
September 16, 2020 / Nieman Reports
In keeping with its mission of fostering new and diverse journalistic talent, Futuro Media has initiated the Akron Community Podcast Lab, dedicated to developing, piloting, producing, and distributing new audio projects by emerging POC storytellers.
A project of Futuro’s Community Media Lab Project, the Community Podcast Lab was piloted in Boston in the fall of 2018 and Hartford in the spring of 2020. Partnering with local arts and community groups and local public radio station, Futuro delivered a 15-week course focused on elevating the stories and skills of people of color from these two cities. The Lab has trained fourteen people of color on how to create a powerful voice through podcasting.
Partnering with Be You Podcasting, The Devil Strip Newspaper and Summit Artspace, Futuro Media is excited to bring this program to Akron to help capture the untold stories from the neighborhoods of the city. Apply here for your chance to be a part of the first Akron Community Podcast Lab cohort.
Futuro’s Community Media Lab Project stands apart from other incubators in the depth of tutorials, information and skills acquired, duration of the course, the engagement of dedicated personnel and community organizations, and its attendance-based stipend for participants to ensure our course is accessible to all. We will select people with little to no prior experience in media from the diverse and underrepresented neighborhoods of Akron. We will provide participants with the access, skills, and tools necessary to produce and broadcast their own stories and to contribute meaningful pieces of history and culture from the perspective of people of color to the rich narrative of Akron life.
The City of Akron has a population of just under 200,000 people making it Ohio’s fifth-largest city. Consisting of 21 neighborhoods, Akron’s racial makeup is 62% white and 32% Black, making it a prime location for the community media platform to give a voice to this underserved population. The Akron Community Podcast Lab creates a unique opportunity for local people of color to produce vital storytelling that is not often heard via traditional media outlets in Akron.
Social issues affect every race but when those issues fall disproportionately on one group it becomes a challenge. For African Americans living in Akron issues like mass incarceration, barriers to employment, entrepreneurship, wealth building, fair housing and single parent families etc. are all not so hidden stories that need to be shared through this initiative.
Futuro Media is committed to bringing the Community Podcast Lab to Akron to help capture and broadcast the city’s underserved narratives, and to tell the world what makes the city tick.
For more information contact Matt Wilson at email@example.com or 617-515-2326.
Listen to podcasts from past participants: