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“Localore is an iterative, indie-led production designed to build new innovation capacity across public media at a time of dynamic, technology-driven change. Each of the three initiatives has built on what came before; Localore: Finding America takes public media to the far corners of local communities.”
Ryan McGrath, Localore Team.
Creating stories “with and for the people” is the premise of Localore: Finding America. Placed in 15 communities throughout the U.S., for nine months this initiative connected independent producers with local public media networks to activate and amplify under-represented narratives. From radio broadcasts, video, and digital media to local interventions, the emphasis was put on using media as a platform for engaging people in a process of reflection on their particular social issues. As a consequence, media production was adapted to the pace of daily life, prioritizing the process of research and collaboration over speed and numbers. This slow form journalism encompassed people from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from journalists, documentary filmmakers, photographers, writers, radio producers, to poets, religious people, and activists.
As a result of the social and geographical diversity, the works tackled a variety of topics and struggles. In Anacostia Unmapped, the team joined the public radio station WAMU in this historical site in Washington DC, exposing the problems unleashed by gentrification in a series of interviews to the community members broadcasted in the radio program. The problem of climate change was the central issue faced in Frontier of Change, the project developed in Anchorage, Alaska, in collaboration with KNBA, the first native radio station. In the case of Tucson, Arizona, Dímelo: Stories of the Southwest took the form of a public art installation to invite locals to write and send postcards that explore identity in relation to their socio-cultural geography. The fifteen projects are available at Finding America’s website.
This is the third iteration of Localore, a community-based media project from AIR Media started in 2010 with the aim of innovating and integrating more local voices into the public radio and TV stations throughout the country.