Giving Compass’ Take:
• Alicia Bell talks with The Whole Story about the importance of building trust to bridge the glaring gap between journalism and Black communities.
• Why is there such little trust in the current journalistic climate? How can the right funding play a role in building trust between journalism and Black communities?
Alicia Bell’s life’s work is creating conversations and connections between journalists and the communities they work to serve. She is an organizing manager for Free Press, a nonprofit that’s part of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative. Bell, a graduate of New York University’s master’s program in educational leadership, spoke with Michael Davis, Solutions Journalism Network’s region manager for the South.
Alicia Bell: Across the country, we are still in that process of community and journalism understanding what is needed in news gathering and what needs to be covered and how to talk about those issues and how to tell those stories and who to listen to. In moments like this, there are some wins, there are some relationships that have been built and some community trust that’s been built.
But, there’s also this thing that happens when people have begun to build trust, and then the crisis comes and headlines are not great or the headlines are actually triggering or dog whistling. That hurts the trust that’s been built. And it hurts it even more sometimes than if the trust hadn’t been in the process of being built in the first place.
There are a lot of communities and a lot of people I work with who, when I ask, ‘What is your relationship with local news? What is your relationship with journalists?’ say there is none — especially people of color and especially Black folks.
Building trust where there has not been trust for a very long time is difficult. Building that trust in moments like this makes it even more difficult. There is a tenacity that has to be created amongst journalists to say, “OK,we’re going to keep doing this thing, but it’s hard.
Read the full discussion about building trust between journalism and Black communities with Alicia Bell at The Whole Story.
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